Think of the roaming charges: The moon (yes, our orbital natural satellite) is getting a mobile network. Said network will make it possible to stream HD video live back to earth from the moon’s surface, since I guess space streaming is all the rage following Elon Musk’s Starman stunt.
The network will be put together by a group that includes carrier Vodafone Germany, hardware maker Nokia and, perhaps most unexpectedly, automaker Audi, Reuters reports. The project was announced at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and the target launch for the network hardware required to make it work is 2019, with SpaceX acting as launch provider.
The companies involved are working with PTScientists, a Berlin-based group of volunteer scientists who work on special projects in collaboration.
Despite the seemingly futuristic goal of putting a mobile network on the moon, this project will deploy 4G connectivity, not the next generation 5G standard currently in the early stages of a global rollout. The project’s creators opted to use the slightly older tech on purpose, however, since it’s more reliable at present and easier to engineer for use in the rigours of space .