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China begins trial operations of home grown Beidou GPS system

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The Russians have GLONASS, and the EU will eventually have Galileo, so China's probably been feeling left out of the GPS party so far. Not for much longer though, as the switch for its home grown Beidou system has just been flicked on, providing location and timing data to its home turf. There are ten satellites already in place and six more to follow next year, by which time, most of the Asia Pacific will be covered. The rest of the globe will be taken care of by 2020, once all of the planned 35 satellites are sent up. So, while we may not see something like iPhone support right away, it might be handy to study the Interface Control Document the Chinese government's put online anyway, y'know, just in case.


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