China's GPS to provide services to Asia-Pacific region
China's Beidou Navigation Satellite System, being built to rival US global position system (GPS), will be able to provide high-quality services to most users in the Asia-Pacific region this year, an official said.
"With the trial run of the Beidou navigation service, we believe that China can provide high-quality satellite navigation services for most users in the Asia-Pacific region in 2012," said Xie Haizhong, general manager of the Beidou navigation science and technology department of Beijing Unistrong, a company that focuses on the global navigation satellite industry.
China began to build the Beidou system in 2000 with a goal of breaking its dependence on the US global positioning system and creating its own global positioning system by 2020.
The Beidou system began providing initial positioning, navigation and timing operational services to China and its surrounding areas late last year.
Industrial experts said that to insure the vitality of the Beidou system, its price must be near that of similar GPS systems, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Since its debut in 2000, the system has been widely used in transportation, fishery, hydrological monitoring, weather forecasting and disaster mitigation, the report said.