Moon to get 4G cell network in 2019
The moon may be the last place to create a cell network considering its lack of residents, but plans have been laid out to install a 4G network in 2019.
A statement from British telecoms company Vodafone said the equipment for the 4G network will be launched in 2019 through a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
The project will be spearheaded by volunteer scientist group PTScientists in partnership with Vodafone Germany, Nokia and car maker Audi. Vodafone lends its expertise with cell networks, which will be used by Audi lunar quattro rovers to communicate with one another and send data back to Earth. Nokia will provide a space-grade Ultra Compact Network.
4G network was chosen, thanks to its high-energy efficiency compared with analog radio. It may also be a more practical choice over 5G considering 4G is more stable and tools designed around it are more readily available at present. 5G may be more advanced, but it has yet to be deployed for commercial use, and developing electronics to take advantage of the new technology would take time.
Robert Böhme, CEO and founder of PTScientists, said: “This is a crucial first step for sustainable exploration of the solar system. In order for humanity to leave the cradle of Earth, we need to develop infrastructures beyond our home planet.”
One of the first missions for the rovers is to explore the NASA Apollo 17 lunar roving vehicle used by the last astronauts to visit the moon in December 1972.
Vodafone claims the feed will be in HD and broadcast at a 1800-MHz frequency band to a global audience. /ra