As a part of the 14 deals under the ‘Tipping Point’ contract, Nokia USA – Nokia of America Corporation of Sunnyvale, California- has been awarded a $14.1 million deal by NASA to provide a 4G cellular network and that too on the moon.
The contract was announced by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine at the virtual fall Lunar Surface Innovation Consortium meeting on October 14. The combined value of the deals is said to be worth $370 million.
The official release stated, “NASA has selected 14 American companies, including several small businesses, as partners to develop a range of technologies that will help forge a path to sustainable Artemis operations on the Moon by the end of the decade.”
Nokia’s Bell Labs announced on Twitter that, “To the moon! We are excited to have been named by @NASA as a key partner to advance “Tipping Point” technologies for the moon, to help pave the way towards a sustainable human presence on the lunar surface. So, what technology can you expect to see? (1/6)”
For the 2028 goal to build a lunar base that will eventually sustain human presence on Earth’s lone natural satellite, NASA awarded $370 million to over a dozen companies to deploy on the lunar surface. Innovations like cryogenic freezing, power generation, robotics, 4G network, and safer landing are also included.
According to NASA, 4G could provide more longer-distance and reliable communications than the current radio standards in place on the moon. Additionally, similar to Earth, these 4G networks will be eventually upgraded to 5G.
Astronauts will use its wireless network for data transmission, real-time navigation over lunar geography, data transmission, and stream high-definition videos stated Bell Labs.
On Earth, these 4G networks are supported by giant cell towers with humongous power generators and radios. However, Bell Labs has helped in the creation of small cell technology which is limited in range but uses far less power than the traditional cell towers. This is also significantly easier to pack into a rocket ship. Meanwhile, these small cell tech is currently being deployed for 5G networks across the globe.
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