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back to article China's Beidou satnav will open to mobe-makers

China will shortly open its Beidou satnav system to mobile phone makers. Yang Qiangwen, billed by China's official press agnecy Xinhua as “a leading scientist with the China Satellite Navigation Office”, let it be known that the agency is "… seeking favorable policies and attracting investment to promote the technology for …

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Facepalm

Three systems ..

.. and yet there will be plenty of idiots still driving into rivers :)

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Re: Three systems ..

Technology is really not an answer to stupidity in society, though often our leaders seem to think so.

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Four systems

Everyone keeps forgetting GLONASS, which is active and already supported in a few popular handsets (I know iPhone 5s support it, and I'd imagine Samsung would include support in their top end Galaxy phones).

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Re: Four systems

Thanks for that - I didn't forget, I genuinely didn't know about it. You learn something new here every day :)

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Joke

Re: Four systems

@ Fred Flintstone

You'd not heard of GLONASS? Where have you been, the stone age or something?

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Re: Four systems

I would guess at everything newer than a 4S and some stuff older than that will support GLONASS.

I have support on my Ativ S.

GLONASS is the only other system worth talking about at the moment as it's the only one that offers worldwide coverage. Once Beidou hits that mark it will become useful.

Once we get to 4 full functioning arrays accuracy should take on a significant improvement

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Re: Four systems

You'd not heard of GLONASS? Where have you been, the stone age or something?

Yup. Been dropping rocks on middle management monkeys :)

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Headmaster

Re: Four systems

Unfortunately, adding another network doesn't really make for a significant improvement. In open sky, any one network is sufficient for decent accuracy. Where we hope is makes a difference is when the sky is occluded, especially in downtown environments. Unfortunately the error sources in that environment are reflected signals (multipath) and poor geometry of available satellites (DOP). Except in flukes, adding more satellites into a narrow view of the sky doesn't really help the geometry problem and really only adds to the reflected signals problem.

This is all about sovereignty and boosting a tech sector (China still imports a LOT of GPS receivers from the US but that's going to change drastically in very short order).

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Wow

Europe still has only four satellites out there? Aren't we taking our sweet time?

I guess new satnav systems take a back seat during economic crises… Which is rather sensible, I suppose.

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Mushroom

Re: Wow

I guess they needed proof they worked before they started throwing sats into orbit....

Now they have it, I am guessing they will start launching at a much more accelerated rate...

Really this should be part funded by the EU's military (yes I know it is a civillian system) since in reality we all rely on the USA's nav sats without realising they can disable it at any time for us poor civvies or even our military....

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Re: Wow

They are also waiting for a new Ariane rocket that will be able to loft 4 of them at a time.

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Black Helicopters

Re: Wow

"we all rely on the USA's nav sats without realising they can disable it at any time "

And you reckon that the EU's Galileo doesn't contain any US export controlled technology? Maybe it doesn't, but I'd be VERY surprised. And if it does, I'd guess that the US have agreements with the EU to enable them to nobble the Galileo positioning in parallel with GPS.

Obviously as China, India and Russia heave their own networks into orbit then simply denying access to GPS or Galileo becomes less worthwhile, and will undoubtedly already have exercised the minds of military planners looking for a tool to deliver regional blocking of everybody else's positioning systems, ideally on a selective basis. I'm sure that's fairly staightforward, so long as other nations with positioning systems don't take countermeasures..........

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Anonymous Coward

@Ledswinger

I think you will find that ESA has done a lot for "ITAR free" space technology, so I am pretty sure that was one of the goals of Galileo,

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Alert

Check the chip AND the phone.

Four constellations (plus whatever Japan and India decide to do): great, but you will have to be careful if you want to take advantage of it.

Case in point: I bought an HTC Sensation XE, apparently its chips can handle GLONASS as well as GPS, so I thought the navigation would be slightly better than otherwise.

However, even after rooting/flashing, the phone's firmware proceeds to happily ignore any GLONASS signals, which is irritating.

What is even more irritating is that the wife's Samsung S3 uses both constellations by default.

In summary, once all those new satellites are up and transmitting in a few years, CHECK the phone before buying it if the capability is important to you; never just rely on the fact that it's enabled in hardware.

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Re: Check the chip AND the phone.

<shrug>

Clearly whatever you flashed it with doesn't speak to the baseband correctly.

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WTF?

It wasn't many years ago when using ...

GPS drew unwelcome knots of people in China to view your device.

Fortunately, in much of China urban landscapes have wide roads/boulevards and even decent sized highrise buildings don't affect transmission/reception.

Guess all the government vehicle and portable system will be headed for an upgrade: security police portables in several of the larger cities already have facial recognition.

Another database police can access are pictures of civilian vehicles as they were when purchased. Modifications of anything, including paint colour, can be ordered to be reverted to original. The only accessories/modifications permitted, until sale, are 'bolt-on' types such as fog lights, etc.

The vehicle database is similar to a facial recognition database except that picture comparisons are made in database offices.

Shows just how close Britain is with it's systems at emulating an 'authoritarian' regime.

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