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Chinese satellite navigation market hoping the Beidou system can go global

Industry Sector



23 November 2012


Mike King

Type of News


The Chinese satellite navigation market saw its output value reach approximately RMB75 billion in 2011, with more than 90% brought from GPS.

China is accelerating its pace to develop the satellite application industry centering the application of satellite communication radio, satellite navigation and satellite remote sensing.

The market scale of Chinese satellite navigation industry is predicted to get to RMB400 billion by 2020 and, the market size of high-precision GNSS market by then is expected to realise RMB80 billion.

At the end of 2010, the Beidou application (Beidou terminal plus operation) output value in China reached roughly RMB500 million, with the market share less than 1% in the domestic satellite navigation market

The Beidou navigation system was developed by the Chinese government in an attempt to create a domestic satellite navigation system that would eventually have global coverage. When Beidou became operational in 2003, China became the third country, after the US and Russia, to develop a satellite navigation system.

China is actively endeavoring to optimise the Beidou navigation system. Since April 2007, China has launched the Beidou 2nd generation navigation system which is superior to the Beidou 1st generation system in terms of the subscriber capacity, positioning precision, service zone, dynamic property and interference rejection, etc, on the heels of the launch of four satellites between October, 2000 and February, 2007.

On September 19, 2012, China launched the 14th and 15th Beidou navigation satellites with one carrier rocket, marking that only one left to be launched to meet the network construction of Beidou 2nd generation navigation system. And it is estimated that the 16th satellite, also the last one, will be launched during November-December.

Beidou's largest user demographic is Chinese fishermen in the South China Sea. Its limited use comes from the delayed release of decoding files to access the Beidou system, resulting in only a few Chinese application makers producing consumer products that are compatible with Beidou's systems. Beidou also operates a system different from the US's GPS or Russia's GLONASS, which currently results in limited system capacity and high-cost terminals.

For more information on the Chinese satellite navigation market, see the latest research: Chinese Satellite Navigation Market

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