HONG KONG: On Tuesday China launched its final satellite to set its rival GPS Beidou, in motion. The rival global navigation system is now fully operational and is creating its place among those of other countries.
Currently, there are four major GNSS networks: GPS (US), GLONASS (Russia), Galileo (European Union). India and Japan are operating on smaller systems.
The GPS system has become very popular and is used in personal navigation, cell phones, and tracking cargo ships and planes all around the world. Also Read– Google launches new Curation App
Now China has an alternative system to the GPS and it is called Beidou. The global navigation system is named after the Chinese Big Dipper constellation and has taken around 20 years to complete.
Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert hopes Beidou will be a strong competitor to the GPS however, currently the GPS still has “absolute market share.”
According to experts, the decision to create Beidou was to remove China’s dependency on the US navigation system especially for the military.
Other than the benefit of becoming independent, China’s own navigation system has many other advantages according to Andrew Dempster, director at the Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research at the University of New South Wales.
“To be honest with Beidou there’s nothing unique about it,” Dempster said. “It is simply this prestige thing that the Chinese want to say they’ve got it. It’s the same thing as going to the moon, planting a flag for the sake of it,” Dempster said.