While it's not clear if Russia and China's forthcoming challenges have anything to do with it, the United States and the European Union are apparently close to a deal that would see them work together to improve their respective navigation systems. According to Reuters, the deal would allow both EU and U.S. satellites to send information on the same radio frequency, which would in turn allow receivers to pick up signals from both systems, theoretically resulting in greater accuracy. Of course, we'll still have to wait a while to see any of those benefits, with the EU's Galileo system still far from ready, although it's expected to be fully operational by 2012.

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US and EU nearing agreement on GPS / Galileo partnership