A ubiquitous asset in our society, providing safety, performance and leisure capabilities
Today, navigation satellites are omnipresent in our society. They provide information about positions, routes, speed and timing, and are used by an extremely wide range of users in every economic sector, such as precision farming, transport, banking systems, mobile applications, emergency services, etc. Navigation signals are freely emitted by public entities, and their exploitation drives significant economic activity including the manufacture of chipsets and devices, as well as sales of services and applications, which generated global market revenues estimated at €94.8 billion (~$110 billion) in 2015.
Different navigation systems, improving the existing infrastructure
The first Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) available for civilian use was the US Global Positioning System (GPS), which is exploited by most of the navigation signal applications commonly used today.
Since then, other GNSS have been deployed, such as the Russian Glonass, the Chinese Beidou-2 (former Compass) and the European Galileo, which is currently ramping up to reach operational capability at the end of the decade.
Other satellite constellations like the Japanese Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) and the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) provide regional signals. In addition, regional augmentation systems, such as the WAAS in the United States or EGNOS in Europe, are improving the accuracy and reliability of the signal: these are used for demanding applications (e.g., air transportation).
The GNSS market and the legal framework
With the development of GNSS devices and services, providers are exposed to liability risks in terms of privacy, frequency management, or legal responsibility for satellite guided vehicles. Regulations such as the eCall for European cars, combined with the availability of the Galileo Commercial Service (CS) high precision signal, should lead to greater adoption of navigation services.
Pushing for greater accuracy
The development of multi‑constellation receivers (compatible with multiple GNSS signals) is expected to result in greater uptake by end users and enhance performance in terms of accuracy and integrity. In addition, navigation signals will have to resist jamming and spoofing threats.
Capitalising on existing markets
Location-Based Services (LBS) and in-vehicle equipment are undergoing significant development, with LBS benefiting from the fast growing apps market. GNSS-enabled businesses (device manufacturers and service providers) are not expected to change greatly in the years to come.
Changes in demand
End-user demand is expected to grow in the years to come, especially for high-precision and indoor positioning. Augmented signals enable cross-market applications such as precision farming, oil and gas exploration or fleet management. Emerging economies represent fast‑growing markets with resource management and weather monitoring needs.