China's Beidou to achieve full-scale global coverage by 2020

Updated: 2013-10-10
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China’s navigation system industry is expected to be producing revenue of 400 billion yuan (US$64.5 billion) by 2020 with global satellite coverage, wide civilian use and convergence of mobile devices, the industry regulator said yesterday.

The homegrown Beidou navigation system is currently mainly used by the military and industries such as mapping, land resources and water conservation. In the long term, it is expected to help break the monopoly of GPS, the global positioning system developed by the United States.

By 2020, the Beidou Navigation Satellite System will be adopted by more than 60 percent of navigation systems in the domestic market, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

"Many countries (Russia, Europe, Japan and India) have developed their own navigation systems to replace the US-developed GPS step by step," the ministry said. "Navigation has become more integrated with mobile communications, the Internet and finally people’s daily lives."

Beidou is expected to achieve full-scale global coverage by 2020 with the aid of an array of 35 satellites, and the government is planning policies that will support the homegrown system.

Since 2000, Beidou has provided services for China’s government and military users in transport, weather forecasts, fishing, forestry, telecommunications, hydrological monitoring and mapping.

The Beidou system began serving civilian users in China and surrounding regions in the Asia-Pacific at the end of last year, as it sought to capture a share of the GPS-dominated market. Beidou will gradually be used in applications such as car navigation and be featured in phones and tablet computers.
Last month, a Beidou system with improved accuracy was officially launched in Shanghai.

In June, the city said it would invest 190 million yuan in building infrastructure for the Beidou system.
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