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China set to launch GPS rival BaiDou Navigation Satellite System

Aizbah KhanWeb Editor

12th Jun, 2020. 10:45 pm
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China set to launch GPS rival BaiDou Navigation Satellite System

China has announced that its BaiDou Navigation Satellite System (BNS) rival of the US Global Positioning System (GPS), will be completed this month with the launch of the last satellite into space.

GPS satellites are being used for location data beaming in smartphones, vehicle navigation systems and all such systems and all such satellites are controlled by the US Air Force and now China is about to become the second country in the world who has been successful in creating this technology.

China introduced the BaiDou Navigation Satellite System in the 1990s because its military wanted to reduce its reliance on US Air Force-controlled GPS.

The first BeDoui satellites were launched in 2000 with limited coverage in China, but after an increase in the use of mobile devices in 2003, China sought to join the EU-proposed Galileo satellite navigation system.

The second-generation BeDoui satellites, which cover the Asia Pacific, became operational in 2012 during the iPhone era.

China launched third-generation satellites into space in 2015 for global coverage, with the 35th and final satellite being launched in June, the date of which has not yet been announced.

China has invested 10 billion in the project so that the communications network of Chinese forces is secure and there is no risk of losing GPS in a major dispute.

Upon completion of the project, BeDoui’s location service will be accurate to 10 cm in the Asia Pacific, while in GPS the rate is 30 cm.

China is providing services of this navigation system such as port traffic monitoring and natural disasters to 120 countries.

Most of the countries to which these services are being provided are also part of China’s Belt and Road project to build the current Silk Road from China.

Pakistan and Thailand were the first countries to become part of BeDoui Services in 2013.

In China, BaiDou was enabled on more than 70% of mobile phones in 2019, including Huawei, Oppo, Xiaomi, Vivo and Samsung.

Also read: Tensions mount further between US and China over Huawei

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