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Galileo Tips Over, Demonstrating Why Redundancy is a Good Thing

by Ken Hyers | Jul 15, 2019

Satellite-based navigation systems have become essential for both consumers and businesses worldwide, across a broad range of use cases and industries. GPS, the US satellite navigation system, is in 100% of all smartphones sold today. Other countries, not willing to be dependent on a US government run system, have developed their own satellite navigation systems, ranging from Russia’s Glonass to China’s BeiDou and Europe’s Galileo. Many modern navigation systems, including smartphones, are able to connect to more than one system. This adds redundancy to the systems and creates a failsafe in case one of the systems becomes unavailable.

On Friday July 12, 2019, the value of redundant systems was demonstrated when all 22 satellites of Europe’s Galileo navigation system went offline. Galileo was initially developed as a counter to Europe’s dependence on the US GPS system. Currently more than half of all smartphones sold globally have the ability to connect to the Galileo system. But as of the time of writing for this blog, the current status of the Galileo constellation is “not usable”.

 Galileo



Clients of Strategy Analytics’ Device Technologies practice can find complete data regarding how many smartphones worldwide and by region have access to GPS, Glonass and Galileo satellite navigation systems in the recently published report Smartphone Sales Forecasts by Wireless Connectivity Types to 2024.

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