Since China's independently-developed Beidou satellite navigation and positioning system started five years ago, the number of users has surpassed 40,000. The system has brought about noticeable social and economic benefits.
So far the Beidou-1 satellite has provided positioning services 250 million times, communication services 120 million times and timing services 25 million times. The system operation is 99.98% reliable.
Reporters learned that research and development of China's second-generation Beidou system have now entered a critical stage.
In 2009, several satellites will be launched into space and the networking system will be completed in 2011, so the second-generation sustem will be basically equipped with operational capabilities.
At the same time, initiation and verification of constructing a global Beidou system have also begun. As planned, the construction of the system will be completed by 2020.
By People's Daily Online