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Vodafone and Nokia to set up the First 4G Network on the Moon

Vodafone 4G network will enable live-streaming of HD video from the Moon’s surface.
Vodafone 4G network will enable live-streaming of HD video from the Moon’s surface.

New Delhi: Vodafone plans to create the first 4G network on the Moon to support a mission by PTScientists in 2019 and had chosen Nokia as its technology partner.

German new-space firm PTScientists had been preparing for a mission to the Moon from past couple of years. PTScientists partnered with Audi to connect Audi lunar Quattro rovers to a base station in the Autonomous Landing and Navigation Module (ALINA).

Nokia will be creating a space-grade Ultra Compact Network, through Nokia Bell Labs. This Ultra Compact Network will be the lightest and would weigh less than one kilo, similar to a bag of sugar. Eight Nobel Prizes have been awarded to Bell Labs researchers in past decades; as a result, they had been influencing the growth of telecommunications and information technologies.

This Mission to Moon, is due for the launch next year from Cape Canaveral on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, will use Vodafone’s network proficiency to build up the Moon’s first 4G network. The 4G network will enable the Audi lunar Quattro rovers to communicate and transfer scientific data and HD video while they carefully approach and study NASA’s Apollo 17 lunar roving vehicle that was used by the last astronauts to walk on the Moon in December 1972.

Vodafone testing shows that the base station should be able to broadcast 4G using the 1800 MHz frequency band and send back the first-ever live HD video feed of the Moon’s surface, which will be broadcast to a worldwide audience via a deep space link that would be connected with the PTScientists server in Berlin.

Dr. Hannes Ametsreiter, CEO of Vodafone Germany, mentioned that this mission involves a radically innovative approach towards the development of mobile network infrastructure. It is also an ultimate example of how an independent, multi-skilled team accomplishes a task of massive significance through courage, revolutionary spirit, and inventiveness, he added.

Marcus Weldon, Nokia Chief Technology Officer and Bell Labs President said Mission to the Moon is supporting, among other things, the development of new space-grade technologies for future data networking, processing and storage, and will help advance the communications infrastructure required for academics, industry and educational institutions in conducting lunar research.

Robert Böhme, CEO, and Founder of PTScientists stated that Mission to the Moon is a crucial first step for sustainable exploration of the solar system. In order for humanity to leave the cradle of Earth, we need to develop infrastructures beyond our home planet. With this mission, experts will institute and test the first elements of a dedicated communications network on the Moon.

This 4G network is more energy efficient than analogue radio. Such a network is very important for Mission to the Moon and is considered to be the initial step to build communications infrastructure for future projects.