Communications will be a crucial component for NASA’s Artemis program, which will establish a sustainable presence on the moon by the end of the decade.

Finnish mobile technology will soon be featured on the moon. Photograph: Shawn Harquail/Flickr

Nokia’s pioneering innovations will be used to build and deploy the first ultra-compact, low-power, space-hardened, end-to-end LTE solution on the lunar surface in late 2022.

The network will self-configure upon deployment and establish the first LTE communications system on the moon.

To establish this, Nokia is partnering with the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to advance “tipping point” technologies for the moon, deploying the first LTE/4G communications system in space and helping pave the way toward sustainable human presence on the lunar surface.

The network will provide critical communication capabilities for many different data transmission applications, including vital command and control functions, remote control of lunar rovers, real-time navigation and streaming of high definition video. These communication applications are all vital to long-term human presence on the lunar surface.

Nokia’s LTE network—the precursor to 5G—is ideally suited for providing wireless connectivity for any activity that astronauts need to carry out, enabling voice and video communications capabilities, telemetry and biometric data exchange, and deployment and control of robotic and sensor payloads.

“Leveraging our rich and successful history in space technologies, from pioneering satellite communication to discovering the cosmic microwave background radiation produced by the Big Bang, we are now building the first-ever cellular communications network on the moon,” Marcus Weldon, chief technology officer at Nokia and president of Nokia Bell Labs, said in a statement.

“Reliable, resilient and high-capacity communications networks will be key to supporting sustainable human presence on the lunar surface. By building the first high-performance wireless network solution on the moon, Nokia Bell Labs is once again planting the flag for pioneering innovation beyond the conventional limits,” Weldon continued.

Nokia Corporation (natively Nokia Oyj,) referred to as Nokia, is a Finnish multinational telecommunications, information technology and consumer electronics company, founded in 1865. Nokia’s headquarters are in Espoo, Finland, in the greater Helsinki metropolitan area.

With the Artemis program, NASA has a goal of landing the first woman and next man on the moon by 2024, using innovative technologies to explore more of the lunar surface than before.

NASA aims to establish the mission by collaborating with commercial and international partners in hopes to establish sustainable exploration by the end of the decade.