Nokia to Provide 4G Coverage on the Moon

NASA has awarded a contract to Nokia’s American subsidiary that will pay them USD14.1mn “to deploy the first LTE/4G communications system in space”. The fixed price deal is one of a series of contracts to support NASA’s Artemis lunar exploration program, which intends to land a man and woman on the Moon by 2024, the first such landing since Apollo 17 in 1972. Mobile connectivity will be used for communication between astronauts, vehicles and habitats, and may potentially be extended to spacecraft.

All of the contracts issued during the USD370mn procurement round were given to US businesses. Presumably the lack of a genuine American network manufacturer caused some inconvenience, but at least it means Huawei will not get to the Moon first.

NASA believes 4G could…

…support lunar surface communications at greater distances, increased speeds, and provide more reliability than current standards.

It is unclear if roaming rates will be out of this world, or merely sky high.

Eric Priezkalns
Eric Priezkalns
Eric is the Editor of Commsrisk. Look here for more about the history of Commsrisk and the role played by Eric.

Eric is also the Chief Executive of the Risk & Assurance Group (RAG), a global association of professionals working in risk management and business assurance for communications providers.

Previously Eric was Director of Risk Management for Qatar Telecom and he has worked with Cable & Wireless, T‑Mobile, Sky, Worldcom and other telcos. He was lead author of Revenue Assurance: Expert Opinions for Communications Providers, published by CRC Press. He is a qualified chartered accountant, with degrees in information systems, and in mathematics and philosophy.