China’s GPS Satellites Outnumber US in New Review

16 September 2019 Monday 15:32
1141 Reads
China’s GPS Satellites Outnumber US in New Review

The BeiDou positioning system, China’s version of global positioning systems (GPS), now has more satellites than the United States’ version. The United States has long been the leader in satellite-based positioning with China first entering the market in 2000.

China launched their first navigation satellite system in 2000 and has since added more satellites than its U.S. counterpart.

China’s launch of 18 satellites for the system in 2019 had led the BeiDou system to have a total of 35 satellites in orbit. Russia comes in third place, behind the United States, with 24 satellites followed by the EU which has 22 positioning satellites in orbit.

Over mainland China, 20 BeiDou satellites were observed in June, with 130 out of 195 observing Chinese satellites more frequently. Chinese satellites have also been seen above New York and London, with a total of 10 satellites observed.

The market for device and location data services is expanding, leading to the growing number of Chinese satellites. The market is expected to reach $199 billion by 2020, with more than 8 billion receivers. Countries are relying heavily on these positioning systems to maintain industrial competitiveness.

"Global Positioning System or GPS is an assortment of 31 satellites, and works with the internet and a digital cellular network. These satellites are continually circling around the world and transmit location-related data to earth on a regular basis," according to

China’s heavy promotion of the BeiDou navigation system is in part to the Belt and Road Initiative. More than 100 countries have signed on to the infrastructure project, leading to the heavy usage of satellites. Pakistan’s military relies heavily on the system, and it has also been used in North Africa for testing self-driving tractors.

The navigation system is used in more than 30 countries, with heavy usage in Africa and the Middle East. China’s growth in the market is expected to lead to China having a technological advantage in the market, with a faster production of new products and technologies.

China’s satellites may make inroads in the United States, Europe and Japan.

It was estimated that between 1994 and 2020 that Beijing would invest $10.6 billion in its satellite system. China is expected to add an additional 10 satellites in 2020. The addition of more satellites helps to improve the accuracy of the systems. BeiDou’s systems are expected to be as accurate as any other country’s satellites in the next few years with many manufacturer’s using the system for advanced accuracy.

“GPS makes use of the concept of triangulation. Triangulation is a process through which you can find the exact location of the object which you are tracking,” explains

Lenovo group claims that their Z6 smartphone has an accuracy of within one meter due to the BeiDou satellites.



You have to login for comment. If you are not a member? Register now.

Login Sign Up