Tag - BeiDou
China is promoting its own global positioning satellite system, with a view to making it available to mobile phone manufacturers and related services. By offering the Beidou navigation system to public-interfacing companies, China hopes that it will eventually replace the current GPS service in most devices in the next few years.
China has turned on its BeiDou satellite navigation system across the Asia-Pacific region, with coverage spanning not only across China, but also over Japan and as far south as Australia. Commercial and public access to the network has been enabled, and follows successful trials on its already-launched satellite network.
The European Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Agency has struck a deal with the Czech government to have Prague serve as the headquarters for Galileo, the European rival to the US' Global Positioning System (GPS). The European network of 30 satellites orbiting the globe is expected to start operation in 2014. The Europeans claim that Galileo is more accurate and reliable than GPS, which began full operation in 1993.
China on Tuesday has launched its own, homegrown GPS system dubbed BeiDou, said spokesperson Ran Chengqi. Translating to Big Dipper, the system is in the trial stage but would cover most of the Asia Pacific region next year before going on to cover the world by 2020, Reuters reported. China has 10 BeiDou-devoted satellites in space now, with another six due to launch in 2012.