The monopoly of United States of regulating the locations of objects from decades using its Global Positioning System (GPS) have been challenged as the countries like China, Japan, India, and the United Kingdom are exploring, testing and deploying satellites to set up their own positioning potentials.
What is GPS?
The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite-based radio navigation system owned by the United States government and operated by the United States Air Force. It is a global navigation satellite system that provides Geographical location and time information to a GPS receiver anywhere on or near the Earth where there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites. (via Wikipedia)
Currently, Russia is the only country that has its own positioning system called GLONASS (Global Navigation Satellite System) which reached its full global coverage a couple of years ago with the forceful development by Russian President Vladimir Putin to reconstruct it after the soviet union breakup.
To decrease their dependence on the United States, some countries are moving forward on developing their own Global Positioning Systems. China is the country which is moving rapidly towards this as their top national priority. Its BeiDou (北斗 – “Big Dipper”) system is moving fast to serve the Asia continent.
China has launched 11 satellites this year in the Beidou constellation and hopes to launch a dozen more by the end of 2020, which will make it the largest positioning system when fully deployed. China is not just deploying satellites but calling all local smartphone manufacturers to set up Beidou positioning chips in their devices.
A large number of manufacturers including Huawei and Xiaomi are using Beidou chips along with GPS and GLONASS in their mobile devices.
China is not only one which is aggressive on building its own positioning system, but Japan is also developing its own Global Positioning System.
The Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (準天頂衛星システム), which has cost ¥120 billion ($1.08 billion) to date, is designed to elevate GPS with more scope of Japan and also activate an estimated ¥2.4 trillion ($21.58 billion) in economic benefits.
India is also developing their own positioning system called IRNSS (Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System) and have launched 9 satellites till date. European Union is planning to launch its own Galileo positioning system, which is expected to be fully operational in 2019.
So far we can say that the world is moving towards new positioning systems, not just GPS. New mobile devices might get in conflict with the GPS, included with Beidou and GLONASS.