Vodafone Germany, Nokia, and carmaker Audi are working together to support the mission. Vodafone said it had appointed Nokia as its technology partner to develop a space-grade network which would be a small piece of hardware weighing less than a bag of sugar.
The companies are working with Berlin-based company PTScientists on the project, with a launch scheduled in 2019 from Cape Canaveral on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, Vodafone said.
“This project involves a radically innovative approach to the development of mobile network infrastructure”, Vodafone Germany Chief Executive Hannes Ametsreiter said.
One executive involved said the decision to build a 4G network instead of a state-of-the-art 5G network was taken because the next generation networks remain in the testing and trial stage and are not stable enough to ensure they would work from the lunar surface.