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Vodafone and Nokia have confirmed they are to install a 4G mobile network in an unlikely location - the Moon.

The infrastructure will support a mission by space exploration company PTScientists, which wants to achieve the first ever privately-funded moon landing.

The 4G signal will enable lunar vehicles to communicate with base stations, while HD videos of the Moon's surface will also be transmitted to Earth.

Robert Böhme, chief executive of PTScientists, believes this could help pave the way for humans to settle on other planetary bodies.

"In order for humanity to leave the cradle of Earth, we need to develop infrastructures beyond our home planet," said.

"With Mission to the Moon, we will establish and test the first elements of a dedicated communications network on the Moon."

However, the announcement could make for frustrating reading for Earth-based telecoms customers who are struggling with nonexistent or poor broadband and mobile coverage.

Just last week, Environment Secretary Michael Gove criticised the inconsistency of broadband coverage across the UK, saying it is "unjustifiable" that broadband provision is "so patchy and poor in so many areas".

The government recently announced it has reached an agreement with the Church of England on a scheme that could boost broadband and mobile connectivity in rural areas.

According to official figures, 65 per cent of Anglican churches and 66 per cent of English parishes are situated in rural areas and sit at the heart of their communities.

Ministers therefore believe they could be ideal for hosting digital infrastructure and resolving connectivity and coverage problems in these locations. They are a little closer to many people's homes than the Moon, after all.

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