China Daily (Hong Kong) - - NATION -

While newly li­censed 4G ser­vices will speed up China’s mo­bile net­works, nav­i­ga­tion ex­perts said the speed will open the way for a ma­jor leap in elec­tronic nav­i­ga­tion us­ing China’s home­grown Beidou satel­lite sys­tem.

“A mod­ern in­for­ma­tion sys­tem needs three parts — the nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem to pro­vide tim­ing and po­si­tion­ing ser­vices, the com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tem to trans­fer in­for­ma­tion and the com­put­ing sys­tem for data pro­cess­ing,” said Li Changjiang, chief com­man­der of the Beidou sys­tem.

“4G will help pro­mote the use of the Beidou sys­tem,” he said.

The gov­ern­ment granted 4G (or fourth gen­er­a­tion) high­speed net­work li­censes to the coun­try’s top three tele­com car­ri­ers in early De­cem­ber. The net­works, which will ex­tend to 340 cities by 2014, are im­mensely faster than the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion of mo­bile tech­nol­ogy.

“The 4G net­works will ac­cel­er­ate data trans­fer, and thus broaden the use of nav­i­ga­tion ser­vices,” Li said.

One ex­am­ple is the use of nav­i­ga­tion satel­lites to mon­i­tor ve­hi­cle flow on a par­tic­u­lar stretch of high­way or on a city street.

“In the past, net­works over­loaded eas­ily in high-traf­fic ar­eas, but with 4G, the speed is fast enough for real-time mea­sure­ment of traf­fic,” he said.

In April, Glo­dio, a com­pany based in Wuxi, Jiangsu prov­ince, started de­vel­op­ing smart cars based on a com­bi­na­tion of 4G tech­nol­ogy and the Beidou satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem.

The nav­i­ga­tion de­vice on the car will au­to­mat­i­cally give in­for­ma­tion — such as traf­fic con­di­tions — to driv­ers and pas­sen­gers, and can be op­er­ated through a hands-free voice sys­tem. Roughly 20,000 com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles in Wuxi will be the first to in­stall the sys­tem.

Beidou supports all the in­fra­struc­ture of 4G net­works, said Chen Fuzhou, di­rec­tor of the Jiangsu BDS Ap­pli­ca­tion In­dus­try In­sti­tute.

“The 4G net­works need the tim­ing ser­vices of the Beidou satel­lites, as mo­bile com­mu­ni­ca­tions re­quire very pre­cise tim­ing to sup­port high speeds, es­pe­cially for mul­ti­me­dia,” he said.

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