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Global reach targeted in Beidou drive

Zhao Lei
Updated: Jun 17,2016 9:05 AM     China Daily

China is striving to promote its domestically developed Beidou Navigation Satellite System to more international organizations to boost the space network’s overseas expansion, project officials said on June 16.

The Beidou system’s standards have been ratified by the International Maritime Organization for nautical operations, following the United States’ GPS and Russia’s Glonass, Ran Chengqi, director of the China Satellite Navigation Office, said at a news conference in Beijing.

“We are pressing forward with recognition of the Beidou system by organizations such as the International Civil Aviation Organization and 3rd Generation Partnership Project,” Ren said.

This partnership project groups regional telecommunications organizations seeking to enhance the standardization of mobile communications.

At the news conference, hosted by the State Council Information Office, a white paper was released, elaborating on the current situation and development plan for the Beidou system. The document is the first of its kind published by China on the global navigation satellite system.

Hu Kaihong, a spokesman for the information office, said China hopes to build a Beidou system benefiting not only the country but also the world. He said the nation is committed to providing a consistent, stable and reliable service to users worldwide.

Wang Li, director of the China Satellite Navigation Office’s International Cooperation Research Center, told China Daily the International Civil Aviation Organization has begun standardization procedures for the Beidou system to enable it to be adopted by airlines for flight navigation.

The 3rd Generation Partnership Project has also agreed to support Beidou as a platform for timing and positioning for its member telecommunications associations, Wang said.

Ren said China has begun to collaborate with GPS, Glonass and Europe’s Galileo on frequency coordination and ground applications.

“Beidou-based products are being used in more than 30 nations. Next, we will give the system global coverage and improve its stability and reliability. In addition, more efforts will be made to develop ground applications,” he added.

A satellite industry researcher, who did not wish to be named, said the government should set clear responsibilities for authorities linked with Beidou to help the industry’s overseas expansion.

“The US has clear policies for each government department to carry out its duties in the management and promotion of GPS, but we still can’t determine who is in charge of some specific fields when it comes to Beidou,” he said.

“We should also bear in mind that when promoting Beidou there is still a long way for us to go before it can catch up with GPS-for example, accuracy, service reliability and the ground tracking system should continue to be improved.”