China Launches Final Satellite To Complete Rival To GPS

China Launches Final Satellite To Complete Rival To GPS

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In 2012, Beidou’s coverage entered commercial use in the Asia-Pacific region, becoming available worldwide in 2018.

Around 120 countries, including Pakistan and Thailand, use

the services for port traffic monitoring, guiding post-disaster rescue operations and other uses, according to Chinese state media.

Beijing is counting on its trillion-dollar Belt and Road global infrastructure project to convince other countries to use its technology as it attempts to grab market share from GPS.

China’s geolocation services market is expected to be worth 400 billion yuan ($56.4 billion) in this year, a senior official told state media.

The global geolocation services market will be worth $146.4 billion by 2025, according to San Francisco-based Grand View Research.

– Accuracy –

Analysts said Beidou was already outperforming GPS in terms of accuracy, but it still had a long way to go before overtaking its American rival as the world’s dominant geolocation system.

McDowell said he did not think Beidou would be able to “supplant GPS in the next 10 or even 20 years”

Carter Palmer, a space systems analyst at US-based consultancy Forecast International, said there were still questions over Beidou’s reliability but its accuracy was a big selling point.

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“What I do see is (users) using multiple systems, including Beidou, to have more accurate satellite navigation,” he said.

The completion of the Beidou network will also be of benefit to China’s military.

China has poured about $10 billion into the Beidou system, to keep the communication networks of the country’s military secure and avoid the risk of disruption.

“Technically, Beidou is capable of replacing GPS, for example in wartime if the United States cuts off access to GPS in China,” said Chen Lan, an analyst specialising in the Chinese space programme.

China’s military also uses it to guide missiles and fly drones.

AFP

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