NASA, Nokia putting 4G network on the moon

Published: Oct. 19, 2020 at 4:47 AM EDT
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(CNN) - NASA is announcing plans to establish a 4G network on the moon as part of the agency’s goal to build a lunar base and eventually sustain a human presence there.

Nokia’s Bell Labs was given a $14 million grant to help with the project. The network will help with data transmission and communications, including the control of lunar rovers, navigation on the moon’s surface and video streaming.

NASA says 4G could provide more reliable, longer-distance communication than the current radio standards in place on the moon.

Like on Earth, the 4G network will eventually be upgraded to 5G.

The 4G network on Earth is supported by giant cell towers with enormous power generators and radios, but Bell Labs helped create small cell technology that’s more limited in range but uses far less power than traditional cell towers.

That small cell tech is currently being deployed for 5G networks across the world.

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