Finnish multinational telecommunications, and consumer electronics company, Nokia has been awarded a $14.1 million contract by America's National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to build a 4G/LTE network on the moon, bringing the first cellular network on the moon and upgrading the communication system in outer space. The Nokia contract is one out of the $370 million awarded to companies like SpaceX by the United States' space program.
According to the company, the 4G/LTE network after launch would be upgraded to the latest 5G for effective communication between astronauts, rovers, habitats, and lunar landers with real-time navigation over lunar geography, high definition video streaming.
"This mission will validate the future of other operational deployments and the potential for human habitation on the moon," Bell Labs, the innovation division of the company said.
"The mission-critical LTE network we have developed has been specially designed to withstand the extreme temperature, radiation and vacuum conditions of space, as well as the sizable vibrational impact during launch and landing on the lunar surface," the company added.
Speaking on the development, NASA’s Associate Administrator for Space Technology, Jim Reuter said "We are excited to see our investments and collaborative partnerships bring about new technologies for the Moon and beyond while also benefiting the commercial sector."
Nokia had earlier in 2018 planned to launch an LTE network on the moon alongside German space company, PTScientist, and UK's Vodafone but wasn't successful.