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China Beidou System to Compete with GPS
[January 09, 2013]

China Beidou System to Compete with GPS

Jan 09, 2013 (SinoCast Daily Business Beat via COMTEX) -- China's homegrown Beidou Navigation Satellite System will compete for the domestic navigation market with GPS of the US.

The system formally started providing regional services on December 27, 2012. In detail, it is consisted of 16 navigation satellites currently, with coverage including China and most parts of the Asia-Pacific region. Ran Zaiqi, spokesman for it, said at a press conference on the day that general performance of the system had been almost at a similar level with that of GPS. Li Zuhong, deputy general designer of it, said that the system would compete with GPS directly and the life of people in the country would have a tie with the system, more or less, by 2020.

GPS, known as Global Positioning System formally, is a navigation satellite system launched by the US and currently, it seizes over 95 percent share in the Chinese navigation market. Industries including electricity transmission, communication and financial there depend much on accurate time provided by it.

China triggered the Beidou project in 1994 and is busy implementing the second generation. It launched a new satellite in late October 2012 and by then, it had seen establishment of a navigation satellite network be completed, with coverage including China and most parts of the Asia-Pacific region. And by 2020, it will own 35 satellites, with coverage expanding to the globe. According to the latest statistics, size of the satellite navigation industry has exceeded CNY 120 billion and industry observers believe that the industrial profit is expected to hit CNY 500 billion per year.

China sees its satellite navigation and position service industry be consisted of three parts, namely the upstream, the midstream, and the downstream. In detail, the upstream includes navigation and satellite manufacture, chips, modules, aerials and so on. The midstream includes terminal integration and system integration. And the downstream includes sale, operation, and service. Currently, Chinese firms that are engaged in the field mainly focus on the trade link, seizing 70 percent share in the downstream sector and with the share in the operation and service sectors being quite small.

Available data shows that over 100,0000 Beidou-related terminals had been put into use by the end of 2011 and the number of firms that took part in the R&D and sales of such terminals had stood at 50 to 60, with annual production value hitting CNY 300 million to CNY 400 million. However, the sales volume of GPS navigation terminals exceeded 45 million units in the year and over 6,800 companies participated in the R&D and sales of such terminals, with annual production value of about CNY 70 billion.

Wang Ping, an analyst with CCID Consulting, said that size of the domestic satellite navigation market was CNY 100 billion currently and the figure would rise to CNY 200 billion in 2015 and CNY 400 billion in 2020. And perfection of the Beidou system would serve as the most important industrial driver.

(USD 1 = CNY 6.22) Source: (January 09, 2013)

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