The moon may get its own 4G network later this year, thanks to Nokia

30x zoom photo of the moon taken with the Galaxy S22
(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Nokia has plans in place to launch 4G on the moon.
  • As part of NASA's Artemis program, Nokia assured to establish the network by the end of this year.
  • The required infrastructure will be delivered through Elon Musk's SpaceX rocket.

While carriers continue deploying 5G services and replacing older networks on Earth, Nokia has plans to launch 4G LTE services on the moon.

As noted by a CNBC report, Nokia is gearing up to launch a 4G LTE network on the moon to enhance lunar communication later this year. It is part of NASA's Artemis program, which aims to put humans on the moon.

To be clear, Nokia here involves a Finland-based telecommunications group, not the brand that makes Android devices, which HMD Global handles. According to Luis Maestro Ruiz De Temino, Nokia's principal engineer, the company is planning to launch the 4G network via a SpaceX rocket in the coming months.

Intuitive Machines, a U.S.-based firm, will design the Nova-C lunar lander, which will have an antenna-equipped base station to establish the connection. It will also accompany a solar-powered rover, and an LTE connection will be established between the lander and the rover.

The equipped 4G infrastructure will land on the Shackleton crater at the lunar south pole, the rims of which are said to be exposed to continuous sunlight to help the rover draw power.

CNBC further notes that Nokia ensures its 4G technology is designed to withstand the harsh conditions of space, given the moon's very limited atmosphere.

Nokia also believes the network brings great possibilities in upcoming space missions as it establishes connections that further allow astronauts to communicate with each other. The company says it will also help enable remote control of the rover, stream real-time video, and transmit telemetry data back to Earth.

Nokia has been working to build the first-ever cellular network ever since it was selected by NASA in 2020. It stated that Nokia will be a critical component in the NASA Artemis program by offering a network that will provide crucial communication capabilities that are "vital to long-term human presence on the lunar surface."

Things seem to be falling into place for Nokia to launch the 4G network on the moon, which closely follows Amazon's endeavor to bring Alexa to the moon last year.

Vishnu Sarangapurkar
News Writer

Vishnu works as a freelance News Writer for Android Central. For the past four years, he's been writing about consumer technology, primarily involving smartphones, laptops, and every other gizmo connected to the Internet. When he is away from keyboard, you can see him going on a long drive or chilling on a couch binge-watching some crime series.