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The Moon most likely to get its very own first 4G network by 2019

While the mortals here on Earth still struggle to own the digital boon of a 4G LTE network, planet’s only permanent natural satellite, the Moon is all set to receive its first mobile phone 4G network next year. The network is part of a project to back the first privately funded moon mission. Berlin-based company, PTScientists is working with Vodafone Germany, Nokia and Audi to achieve the privately-funded Moon landing as the mission to the Moon is due to launch in 2019 from Cape Canaveral on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

The pioneer network would enable high-definition streaming from the lunar landscape back to earth laying the future of space exploration. Vodafone testing indicates 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. It can then be broadcasted to a global audience via a deep space link that interconnects with the PTScientists server in the Mission Control Centre in Berlin. The project is expected to last for about 11 days because of massive change in temperature on the moon, noted Robert Bohme, CEO and Founder of PTScientists.

Nokia, through Nokia Bell Labs, will create a space-grade Ultra Compact Network that will be the lightest ever developed (weighing the same as a bag of sugar) while Vodafone's network expertise will be used to set up the Moon's first 4G network, connecting two Audi lunar quattro rovers to a base station in the Autonomous Landing and Navigation Module (ALINA). The 4G network will enable the Audi lunar quattro rovers to communicate and transfer scientific data and HD video feed efficiently.

The scientists expect the project to be cost effective as well since it would be less than the cost of a full mission lab, a figure well below $50 million mark. This breakthrough if successful will truly be an important achievement as a 4G network is highly energy efficient compared to analogue radio and will be the first step to building communications infrastructure for future missions.

Source: Nokia via Reuters

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