Beijing: China’s BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS), touted as a rival to the widely-used American GPS, has started providing global services.

The construction of the BDS-3 primary system had been completed, BDS spokesperson Ran Chengqi said Thursday.

“This signifies that BDS has officially entered the global era as the BDS expands from a regional system to a global navigation system. From now on, no matter where you go, BDS will always be with you," Ran said at a media conference here said.

The positioning accuracy of the system has reached 10 metres globally and five metres in the Asia-Pacific region. Its velocity accuracy is 0.2 metres per second, while its timing accuracy stands at 20 nanoseconds, he said.

Pakistan has become the first country to use the BeiDou system ending its reliance on the Global Positioning System (GPS).

Named after the Chinese term for the ‘Big Dipper’, the BeiDou system started serving China in 2000 and the Asia-Pacific region in 2012. It will be the fourth global satellite navigation system after the US GPS, Russia’s GLONASS and the European Union’s Galileo.

India too is building its navigational system called the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), with an operational name of NAVIC.

By the end of 2018, there were a total of 33 BDS satellites operating in orbit for BeiDou. This included 15 BDS-2 satellites and 18 BDS-3 satellites.

China plans to launch another 11 BDS-3 satellites and one BDS-2 satellite in the coming two years to form a complete global network, which will further enhance the global service performance, Ran said.

More than 14,000 companies and organisations are doing business related to BDS, employing over 500,000 people, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The total number of satellite navigation patent applications in China has reached 54,000, ranking first in the world.

In China, about 6.17 million vehicles, 35,600 postal and express delivery vehicles, as well as 80,000 buses in 36 major cities, use BDS. The system is also used in 3,230 inland river navigation facilities and 2,960 marine navigation facilities.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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