China preps civilian use of GPS system

April 2, 2013 at 5:51 PM

BEIJING, April 2 (UPI) -- China says its Beidou GPS System, which provides services to government and military users, will soon be available to citizens on public mobile phone services.

"We are seeking favorable policies and attracting investment to promote the technology for public use," Yang Qiangwen of the China Satellite Navigation Office told China's state-run Xinhua News Agency.

"It will not be long before mobile phones adopt the Beidou system."

The indigenous Beidou system has been steadily improving its navigation precision since it began providing services to users in the Asian-Pacific region in December, Yang said.

China has launched 16 navigation satellites for the Beidou system, which provides transport data, weather forecasts, fishing, forestry, telecommunications, hydrological monitoring and mapping for a number of government and military customers.

A China Satellite Navigation Conference, scheduled for May, will focus on the opportunities and challenges for civilian use of the system, Yang said.

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