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Commercial GPS market to be driven by the rise in smartphones

Industry Sector

Information Technology


7 December 2012


Alex De Angelis

Type of News


The commercial Global Positioning System (GPS) market has been forecast to hit a value of US$77.7 billion by 2018, primarily driven by restoration of growth fundamentals in logistics and transportation industry and subsequent expansion in commercial vehicle fleet with integrated navigational capabilities.

GPS is a space-based satellite navigation system that provides location and time information in all weather, anywhere on or near the Earth, where there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites. It is maintained by the United States government and is freely accessible to anyone with a GPS receiver.

The GPS program provides critical capabilities to military, civil and commercial users around the world. In addition, GPS is the backbone for modernising the global air traffic system.

The growing number of smartphones, technology convergence, mobile commerce, and location-based shopping are all expected to boost the commercial GPS market worldwide. The driver of this growth is the widespread use of mobile mapping applications in the United States and Europe. GPS is a key component in many of the location-aware smartphone applications that have become so popular in recent times.

The commercial uses of GPS are diverse with applications across various industries. Some applications are simple, such as determining a position, whereas others are complex blends of GPS with communications and other technologies.

The rapid growth of commercial applications in recent years has surprised many industry observers and firms building GPS satellites and equipment. The differing needs of commercial and civil GPS users and the availability of alternative solutions for meeting them have led to a highly diverse and competitive market for GPS technologies, equipment, and services.

The market for commercial uses of GPS can be segmented by the differing needs of customers for time and spatial information. Initially, one of the original purposes of GPS was to improve en route navigation for military ships and aircraft. However, there are dozens of uses of GPS today, with new applications being reported each month in academic, business, and public media.

With fuel prices rising, after a temporary decline, commercial vehicle manufacturers are expected to integrate GPS units as a key value addition in their vehicles. Manufacturer efforts to improve their GPS products, especially by adding value-added features to few of their high-end devices to offer services such as minute-to-minute traffic situation, weather information, and location of nearby restaurant and gas station augurs well for the market.

For more information on the commercial GPS market, see the latest research: Commercial GPS Market

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