For the last 40 years, US Military-owned GPS has been the gold standard in international satellite positioning systems, but China’s BeiDou constellation is closing the gap.
Last week, China launched two new satellites – BeiDou-42 and BeiDou-43 – the most recent in a string of missions meant to broaden the system’s global coverage.
Currently, the BeiDou system only serves China and a few surrounding regions, but plans are in place to open BeiDou to Belt and Road countries by the end of the year, and for global service by 2020.This isn’t just about navigation – satellite positioning is big business.
China is already the largest Internet of Things market in the world, with a 22% market share, projected to grow to 29.7% by 2025.
And many of those smart devices – along with China-made mobile phones – will rely on satellite positioning to function. That could mean BIG money (Xinhua):“By 2020, the value of China's satellite navigation business is expected to surpass 400 billion yuan (about 58 billion U.S. dollars), of which 240 billion to 320 billion yuan will go to the Beidou system.”
But it’s not just about money – it’s also about getting other countries reliant on Chinese technology.Welcome to the competition for the future.
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