The Republic of China is close to going on a head to head competition with United States’ Global Positioning System (GPS), as the country announced that BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) is likely to reach its full-scale global coverage in 2020. China is expecting BDS to offer navigation, positioning and timing services that is not only reliable, but also highly accurate.
In a statement, China’s lunar probe mission chief commander Ye Pejian said that since 2000, China has already successfully launched 16 of the constellation of 35 satellites for BeiDou, as well as four other experimental ones. BDS has also provided licensed services for its government and military users in fishing, forestry, hydrological monitoring and mapping, telecommunications, transport and weather forecasts.
BDS plans to take control of at least 70 to 80 percent of the GPS-dominated domestic market come 2020, this according to BeiDou spokesman Ran Chengqi, who is also the director of the China Satellite Navigation Office.
“We hope that the industries based on BDS will hold 15 to 20 per cent of the market share by 2015,” said BDS spokesman Chengqi.
As a way of contending with foreign rivals, BDS has integrated another communication function -- it can communicate with the ground station by sending and receiving short messages, 120 characters in each.
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