Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri spoke this past Sunday about an “out of this world deal” with Vodafone at the Mobile World Congress. It wasn’t until the unveiling of the “Mission to the Moon” project that it was revealed Vodafone is partnering with Audi and now Nokia to bring 4G coverage to the moon.
We don’t know much about the specifics of this “Mission to the Moon”. It will be a mission with many firsts though. We know that they plan on a 2019 launch using a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. This will be the first privately funded lunar mission ever. We also know that the first place the rover will visit is the remnants of the Apollo 17 mission, the last time humans set foot on the moon.
With the announcement of Nokia as Vodafone and Audi’s technology partner, they have established that they will be creating a lunar 4G network. They will use this network to control a lunar rover, designed by Audi, that will continue to explore the moon’s surface and even provide live streaming back on Earth. This will be the first live streaming of HD video from the moon, that should really shut up those flat-earthers. The video will be broadcasted over the 1800 MHz band back to the base station in Berlin.
The 4G network will be established by Vodafone using a revolutionary Nokia space-grade Ultra Compact Network. Not only will it be the first network on the moon but it will also be the lightest ever developed with the entire network weighing less than a kilogram, that’s approximately 2.2 pounds for us Americans. This network not only enables the rovers to communicate and stream information but it will also be the foundation for any future networks that we will use on lunar projects.
This mission is the perfect time for Nokia, Vodafone, and Audi to showcase the advances that have come in telecom, M2M communication, and space travel.