As emerging 5G equipment and technologies dominate this week's Mobile World Congress, Vodafone and Nokia on Tuesday announced plans to establish a 4G network where it's never been before: the Moon.

The companies on Tuesday unveiled details of the mobile technology that will accompany PTScientists' first privately-funded lunar mission next year.

The German spaceflight company plans to launch a landing module and two Audi-built rovers to the site of the last human voyage to the Moon, the 1972 Apollo 17 landing site.

Vodafone Germany will develop the LTE network to connect the rovers to a base station in the module, and this week announced Nokia as its technology partner. The Finnish telecom equipment giant plans to build a compact network — weighing as much as a bag of sugar — to support those lunar communications.

"This important mission is supporting, among other things, the development of new space-grade technologies for future data networking, processing and storage, and will help advance the communications infrastructure required for academics, industry and educational institutions in conducting lunar research," said Nokia CTO Marcus Weldon.

Company officials said that in addition to allowing the rovers to transfer video and scientific data to the base station, the network should be able to utilize the 1800 MHz band to send the first-ever live, high-definition video feed of the Moon's surface back to Berlin and a global audience.

The companies also called the venture a critical first step toward building the infrastructure for future missions into space.

"This project involves a radically innovative approach to the development of mobile network infrastructure," said Vodafone Germany CEO Hannes Ametsreiter. "It is also a great example of an independent, multi-skilled team achieving an objective of immense significance through their courage, pioneering spirit and inventiveness."