Competition in Space

Japan actually started putting GPS satellites up a few years ago. Apart from the US, Russia, China, the EU and India have satellites in place, some constellations currently with just regional coverage and not yet fully operational. It does look like the accuracy of the US GPS system doesn’t fulfill some modern commercial objectives in terms of accuracy and capability of working in mountainous regions, tunnels and other inaccessible locations. The recently operational EU “Galileo” GPS system is scheduled for full operation with 30 satellites in 2020 and claims improved coverage plus an accuracy to be measured in centimeters – at least in its paid-subscription offering. Interestingly, the Chinese system has been reported as producing an annual turnover in excess of US$30 Billion.

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