Nokia to Launch 4G Network in Moon for Future Lunar Missions

By Thea Felicity

Apr 29, 2024 01:10 PM EDT

NASA At Outernet London
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 10: Members of the public stop to look at the space-themed display as it goes on show at the Outernet on August 10, 2023 in London, England. The wonders of space are showcased in Central London, where NASA footage can be viewed on immersive multimedia screens at Outernet London until the end of the year.
(Photo : Leon Neal/Getty Images)

In an ambitious move to launch the first-ever lunar communication, Nokia is gearing up to send a 4G cellular network to the moon's surface later this year. According to, the announcement is part of the company's efforts to establish reliable communication infrastructure beyond Earth.

Nokia's Lunar Network in the Moon

The first phase of Nokia's lunar network deployment is scheduled to coincide with the Intuitive Machine's IM-2 mission, which is expected to touch down at the moon's south pole in the coming months. 

This aims to connect various lunar exploration vehicles, including Intuitive Machines' Nova-C lander, Lunar Outpost's MAPP rover, and Intuitive Machines' Micro-Nova hopper.

"Communications will be a crucial component of any future lunar or Mars mission," said Thierry, President of Bell Labs Solutions Research at Nokia, Klein.

"By leveraging existing state-of-the-art technologies, we aim to provide astronauts and robotic systems with reliable connectivity, akin to the systems we use on Earth."

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About the Lunar Network

Nokia's lunar network project received a significant boost in 2020 when NASA awarded the company $14.1 million to develop cutting-edge communication solutions as part of the Artemis program

Unlike traditional space communication systems, Nokia's 4G/LTE network promises enhanced bandwidth, facilitating faster communication between astronauts and robotic explorers.

Looking ahead, Nokia envisions expanding its lunar network to support future missions to Mars, with the potential for further upgrades to 5G technology. 

While Nokia's lunar communication initiative holds promise for advancing space exploration, radio astronomers have raised concerns regarding potential radio frequency interference (RFI) from the network. 

Proponents of the project argue that careful frequency management could mitigate such concerns, ensuring minimal disruption to scientific observations.

READ MORE: NASA Aims to Put Humanoid Robots in Space to Do Dangerous Jobs

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