In the 1960s, NASA knew that the Apollo Lunar Missions would demand a unique communication system.
The goal of transmitting live footage From the moon to the living rooms of Americans created even more demand.
But the grainy transmission of Neil Armstrong and Bizz Aldrin was no doubt one of the most important television events of the 20th century.
These men became the first of 12 people so far that have walked on the surface of the moon over these 51 years.
Between just SpaceX and NASA, we expect that number won’t stay that small over the next ten…or even five years.
NASA’s Artemis project is committed to landing even more people on the moon by 2024, and plan to establish sustainable missions by 2028.
This program will need innovative technologies and collaboration with commercial and international partners. Then the whole process can be applied sending astronauts to Mars.
Yesterday, NASA announced its newest partnership, and contract to establish a communication network on the Moon.
As Verizon, TMobile, and AT&T are fighting to lay the groundwork for 5G here in the US, Nokia (NYSE: NOK) has been selected as the official cellular provider to the moon.
The moon will not be getting 5G before the rest of us, but it will be getting 4G LTE before many other areas of the work.
The $14.1 million contract is to build a 4G LTE base station on the moon by 2022.
Nokia might be most commonly associated with durable phones preprogrammed with the game Snake, but they are in fact, big in back-end communications equipment including cell towers, and satellites.
The company was integral in pioneering satellite communication.
Marcus Weldon, Chief Technology Officer at Nokia comments, “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.”
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Having 4G LTE available on the moon will yes allow for voice communication and allow astronauts to update their Facebook status.
But, of course, it’s much more than that.
It will allow the transmission of navigation, allow streaming biometric, and health data to ensure the health of those involved in missions, and allow more accurate control of robots, and sensors on the lunar surface.
Nokia has said that it realizes the solution with having to withstand the harsh condition of space and be within a very stringent size, weight, and power constraints.
And that it will have the ability to be upgraded to 5G when needed.
This is definitely an exciting step for the future of telecommunications…but investors have not been impressed with Nokia over the past few years…
This is despite all the partnerships the company is making in the 5G landscape.
In the past week, Nokia has announced that it’s partnering with Nextlink Internet to bring 5G-ready wireless internet to rural Americans.
And it’s partnering with Choice NTUA Wireless to bring high speed mobile broadband to Navajo Nation.
It even announced a partnership with AT&T so that both Nokia digital automation cloud, and modular wireless platforms will be offered by AT&T.
But still…no real reaction from investors.
The company even delivered strong improvements in its second-quarter earnings and better-than-expected profitability.
Analysts even think that the company could start paying a dividend again starting next year.
Nokia has always claimed that it creates the technology to connect the world…and now it can add the moon to that.
The company isn’t going anywhere…and these share prices have nowhere to go but up.
Maybe branching out onto the moon will put it back at the forefront of communications just like its reliable phones did back in the early 2000s.
To your prosperity and health,
Joshua M. Belanger
Executive Publisher & Founder