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Is the Moon included in Vodafone Passport?

A while ago I thought, ‘Screw it, let’s put a Data Centre on the Moon.’

I did some calculations, phoned a few folk and reckoned it wouldn’t be that difficult.

I like the idea of having ewan@ewan.moon as an email address.

I did the typical entrepreneurial fag-packet solution viewpoint.

1. Get a decent server, set it up, configure it.
2. Plug that into some sort of solar energy thing. So it works.
3. Attach a decent 10k/sec transmitter so it can at least talk to us when it’s on the moon.
4. Make it all fit into a package small enough to be shot into space etc.
5. Find someone to fly it there and drop it off.

A good few million quid.

But you’d have a moon email address. And the controversial ability to host applications — albeit at very SLOW data rates — that are outside standard Governmental geographic controls.

So I shelved this when I recognised that I’d be better investing cash elsewhere.

Which brings me to mobile phones and phoning the moon. Natasha Lomas (via silicon, it seems) has posted a story on ZDnet about kitting out the moon with mobile service.

A UK-led mission to put a satellite in orbit around the Moon which could one day enable lunar colonists to use mobile phones to communicate with each other has inched a step closer to blast off.

You can read more about this here. I wonder. Fast forward 20 years and maybe I might not be paying Vodafone 35p a minute to call someone on another UK network anymore.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

8 replies on “Is the Moon included in Vodafone Passport?”

I realise this is just a bit of fun, but it's been a long day so indulge me:

– Why would you need a data centre on the moon to get a .moon domain name? I have UK and Indian domain names served from the US. Even countries that restrict registration to citizens or locally registered organisations don't (to my knowledge) insist on hosting in that geography.

– Why would hosting on the moon exempt you from government control? The point of control (assuming no international body applied their own standards there) would just shift to the location of the receiving equipment…. As it did with the Sealand data centre which promoted itself as being outside of governmental control, but was only served by telecoms links from the UK.

– What are ZDNet smoking? This is a project to relay sensor data it's no more useful as a moon-phone network than the cups and string on my desk…. In other news “Human habitation of Mars inched closer today as Ben Smith admitted he might 'consider' moving there one day if they promised you could go there for free in a space ship and live in a Jetsons house with supermodels….” Bah!

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