Vodafone and Nokia to Create First 4G Network on Moon for Audi Lunar Quattro (Download PDF)


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Vodafone plans to create the first 4G network on the Moon to support a mission by ’PTScientists’ in 2019. The project will last for about 11 days because of massive change in temperature on the moon. Vodafone has appointed Nokia as its technology partner.

Image of Vodafone and Nokia to Create First 4G Network on Moon

Image of Vodafone and Nokia to Create First 4G Network on Moon

Image of Vodafone and Nokia to Create First 4G Network on Moon

  • The Moon will get 4G coverage next year, 50 years after the first NASA astronauts walked on its surface.
  • Berlin-based company, PTScientists is working with Vodafone Germany and Audi to achieve the first privately funded Moon landing. Mission to the Moon is due to launch in 2019 from Cape Canaveral on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

  • Vodafone’s network expertise will be used to set up the Moon’s first 4G network, connecting two Audi lunar quattro rovers to a base station in the Autonomous Landing and Navigation Module (ALINA). Nokia, through Nokia Bell Labs, will create a space-grade Ultra Compact Network that will be the lightest ever developed - weighing less than one kilo, the same as a bag of sugar.

  • The 4G network will enable the Audi lunar quattro rovers to communicate and transfer scientific data and HD video while they carefully approach and study NASA’s Apollo 17 lunar roving vehicle that was used by the last astronauts to walk on the Moon to explore the Taurus-Littrow valley in December 1972.

  • Vodafone testing indicates that the base station should be able to broadcast 4G using the 1800 MHz frequency band and send back the first live HD video feed of the Moon’s surface, which will be broadcast to a global audience via a deep space link that interconnects with the PTScientists server in the Mission Control Centre in Berlin.

What is 4G Network?

  • A 4G network is highly energy efficient compared to analogue radio and that will be crucial to Mission to the Moon and is the first step to building communications infrastructure for future missions.

  • 4G is the fourth generation of broadband cellular network technology, succeeding 3G.

  • A 4G system potential and current applications include amended mobile web access, IP telephony, gaming services, high-definition mobile TV, video conferencing, and 3D television.

About Vodafone

  • Vodafone Group is one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies and provides a range of services including voice, messaging, data and fixed communications.

  • Vodafone Group has mobile operations in 26 countries, partners with mobile networks in 49 more, and fixed broadband operations in 19 markets.

  • As of 31 December 2017, Vodafone Group had 529.1 million mobile customers and 19.3 million fixed broadband customers, including India and all of the customers in Vodafone’s joint ventures and associates.


  • Nokia is a Finnish multinational telecommunications, information technology and consumer electronics company, founded in 1865.


  • PTScientists, formerly known as Part-Time Scientists, is a group of volunteer scientists and engineers based in Germany.

  • They became the first German team to officially enter the Google Lunar X-Prize competition on June 24, 2009 which was cancelled in March 2018. Their goal remains to land a mission on the Moon by 2019.

Audi Lunar Quattro

  • Equipped with a four-wheel electrical drive chain, tilt-able solar panels, rechargeable batteries, and science-grade high definition cameras, the Audi Lunar Quattro rovers will deploy and operate a series of scientific and technological payloads on the Moon.

  • The Audi Lunar Quattro is a cutting-edge lunar rover designed by PTScientists in conjunction with their technical partner Audi.

  • Featuring active suspension and four-wheel drive, this lightweight, sturdy vehicle has been designed to withstand the harsh environment of space and navigate the lunar surface.

  • It has a mass of just 30 kg, with capacity to carry 5 kg of additional payload. The low mass has been achieved using state-of-the-art metal 3D printing techniques in partnership with automobile manufacturer Audi.

  • The Audi Lunar Quattro rovers will be controlled from Earth using a joystick in real-time. 3D-depth information from the stereoscopic cameras will be used to assist the rover operators.

  • It could also communicate with lunar lander (ALINA) using LTE mobile data communications.

  • The Audi Lunar Quattro is fourth generation rover, and the culmination of nine years of design and development work, from PTScientists and engineers at Audi.


  • Audi AG is a German automobile manufacturer that designs, engineers, produces, markets and distributes luxury vehicles.

  • Audi is a member of the Volkswagen Group and has its roots at Ingolstadt, Bavaria, Germany.

  • Audi-branded vehicles are produced in nine production facilities worldwide.


  • Space Exploration Technologies Corp. , doing business as SpaceX, is a private American aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company headquartered in Hawthorne, California.
  • It was founded in 2002 by entrepreneur Elon Musk with the goal of reducing space transportation costs and enabling the colonization of Mars
  • SpaceX has since developed the Falcon launch vehicle family and the Dragon spacecraft family, which both currently deliver payloads into Earth orbit.

SpaceX’s achievements include

  • The first privately funded liquid-propellant rocket to reach orbit (Falcon 1 in 2008),

  • The first privately funded company to successfully launch, orbit, and recover a spacecraft (Dragon in 2010),

  • The first private company to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station (Dragon in 2012)

  • The first propulsive landing for an orbital rocket (Falcon 9 in 2015),

  • The first reuse of an orbital rocket (Falcon 9 in 2017),

  • The first privately funded space agency to launch an object into solar orbit (Falcon Heavy’s payload of a Tesla Roadster in 2018).

- Published/Last Modified on: July 23, 2018

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