Pakistan has become the first foreign country to use China-based global positioning system (GPS), following a bilateral agreement aimed at strengthening cooperation in satellite navigation system, officials told APP.
They said Pakistan was one of the key and important partners of China in its satellite navigation programme and both the countries were cooperating with each other in the training, application systems besides performance monitoring and assessment.
“We perceive a better cooperation perspective with Pakistan in the field of satellite navigation system,” said, Ran Chengqi, Directer General of China Satellite Navigation Office (CSNO) and spokesperson for Beidou Navigation Satellite System (BDS).
Pakistan was the first foreign country to use the Chinese GPS made by Beidou Satellite System. Beidou, or Compass, has also set up network in Pakistan, Ran told APP during a visit to Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Southwest China’s Sichuan Province.
Beidou, China’s largest space-based system and one of the four global navigation networks, along with the United States’ GPS, Russia’s GLONASS and the European Union’s Galileo, began providing positioning, navigation, timing and messaging services to civilian users in China and other parts of the Asia-Pacific region in December 2012.
At the end of 2018, Beidou started to provide global services. Ran said services provided by the Beidou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) were wide-ranging and would benefit the entire world through more international cooperation.
He said that enterprises of over 200 countries have so far applied for BDS-based technology. The products manufactured by the Chinese companies are being exported to over 100 countries. “The users of the countries along the Belt and Road region will be our target and we will provide our service to South East Asia, South Asia and African,” he added.
“The BDS services are used in various fields, including transportation, agriculture, fishing, disaster reduction and relief. The services are available in more than 70% of smartphones in China, making people’s lives smarter and more convenient, he added.
During Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s trip to Pakistan in May 2013, the two sides reached a consensus to create a new pattern of strategic cooperation. The two sides signed an agreement to introduce Beidou Satellite Navigation System to Pakistan.
By covering Karachi and its surrounding areas with the high-precision navigation network, the project has helped basic geographic surveying, land management and port dispatching with reduced costs and enhanced efficiency.