Business / China's navigation system

New navigation system to create big business

(China Daily) Updated: 2011-03-21 13:57

BEIJING - A new Chinese global navigation system is expected to help China compete with other foreign GPS technologies, and could generate around 400 billion yuan ($60 billion) in revenues by 2020, a senior space technology expert has announced.

Liu Jingnan, executive president of the China Satellite Navigation Conference, said on March 19 that, "The Beidou project will be part of an industry that's worth from 150 to 200 billion yuan by 2015, and that figure is expected to reach 400 billion by 2020."

According to previous reports, there will be 12 to 14 navigation satellites put into orbit to provide navigation and short messaging services in the Asia and Pacific region, during the first stage of the project (2011-2015). By 2020, there will be more than 30 satellites in the global navigation system.

China has already sent seven of the Beidou positioning satellites aloft.

Qi Faren, former chief designer of Shenzhou spaceships, said earlier this month that the Chinese Beidou GPS system can cover any place that the United States' GPS system covers.

The system could also play an important role in forecasting earthquakes, defining borders and helping drivers find their way around, Qi said.

The United States is currently the dominant navigation service provider for Chinese drivers, accounting for 95 percent of China's navigation system market.

According to industry analysts, the Beidou system's performance in the global navigation sweepstakes over the next 10 years will mainly depend on three things: user feedback, the overall fitness of China's basic industries and government policy support.

China began work on its own navigation system in 2000. It established a regional satellite navigation system after sending up three Beidou geostationary satellites between October 2000 and May 2003. The word "Beidou" is the Chinese pinyin for the English word compass.


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