China Satellite Telecommunications Corp (China Satcom), one of the country's six major telecom carriers, announced yesterday the introduction of a special satellite navigation service for automobiles.
The company says it hopes the new service will cultivate a new business area and expand its domestic market share, reported China Daily.
Named "Kuaiyixing," which means quick and easy travelling, the service has been developed by Zhonghuan Satellite Navigation and Communications Co Ltd (ZSNCC), which is controlled by China Satcom.
"The launch of the service shows that China Satcom has become effectively involved in the automobile navigation sector in China, which is lagging far behind developed regions, especially European and American countries," said Zhang Hainan, general manager of China Satcom. "It is also a milestone for China's automobile information service."
Lu Ziping, general manager of ZSNCC, says by simply integrating an electronic device in an automobile, automobile drivers can enjoy the service and receive route navigation, real time traffic information and DVD programmes as well as music, multi-media services and information.
Currently, the products mainly targets medium- and high-end customers with the devices priced around 15,000 yuan (US$1,800) per unit.
"We will soon launch devices that will meet the demands of low-end customers," Lu said.
He said the service could provide transportation navigation of 55 cities in 20 provinces and regions in the country.
For each travelling route, the system is able to provide at least five travel choices for drivers, he said. "It will soon become a must for many drivers," he said.
In another development, Lu said, the company is aiming to build up an industrial chain to enrich services to its customers.
He said he expected that more than 14 million automobiles were likely to have the navigation devices by the end of 2010.
"We are dedicated to focusing on the development of the satellite navigation service," Zhang said.
Figures show that there are more than 20 million automobiles in China. Production of autos in China stood at 4.4 million last year.
Source: China Daily