Expert Advice: The Tigers Claim Their Territory

July 1, 2015  - By
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Tigers-CSNC2015

Report from the 2015 China Satellite Navigation Conference

By Greg Turetzky

This May, the sixth China Satellite Navigation Conference (CSNC) was held in Xian, site of China’s famous buried warrior tombs. This was the fourth time I have attended, and every year the event has grown in both attendance numbers and global importance.

The conference opened with the usual provider updates on satellite systems and international collaboration. There was nothing truly unexpected. All the providers continue to make progress towards launching new satellites with new capabilities, as well as providing regional augmentation systems for aircraft navigation.

The hosts were their usual gracious selves and put on a very entertaining evening at “The Night of Beidou” event with wonderful food as well as music, dancing and and acrobats.

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Exhibit Hall

The show floor continues to grow at a rapid rate. The program listed122 exhibitors. The market has clearly entered the rapid proliferation stage. The booths were large, well-staffed and busy even during times when technical sessions were in progress. It was hard for me to determine what kind of business was being conducted as there were not many booth staff that spoke English. However, that seemed very appropriate as it was clear that the Chinese domestic market for BeiDou, or BDS, is well established and growing.

In fact, many of the booths were regionally sponsored as there seems to be plenty of local subsidization to grow the GNSS industry in all areas of China. Many companies were displaying end-user products for all segments, from watches to phones to automotive to survey. I also noted significant growth in the number of chipset suppliers; I stopped counting at 10. Of further note and interest, the first few mergers/partnerships have taken place, as the market starts to make its natural turn from proliferation to consolidation.

Technical Sessions

The technical content of the conference is impressive. Approximately 280 papers were presented in up to nine simultaneous tracks over three days. Another 100+ posters were available for viewing.

Here are titles of a few of the papers I liked:

  • Analysis of relative positioning performance of BDS triple frequency
  • Anti-spoofing design for Civil Navigation Signal system
  • Clock-error resolution strategy and precision analysis of GNSS real-time precise satellites
  • Research on detection and identification methods of satellite navigation RAIM multi-satellite failures.
  • Research on Wi-Fi/INS indoor pedestrian navigation system based on environmental feature augmentation
  • Reflections on demands of BDS intellectual property rights in satellite navigation industries
  • Review of anti-interference RF of satellite navigation receivers
  • A new TOA estimation method for the navigation pulse of X-ray Pulsare.

If you plan to visit next year, you should consider bringing a translator. Many of the sessions have simultaneous translation, and most of the presentations have both English and Chinese slides, but not all of them. In the past, I have always enjoyed the policy and IP session, but this year it did not have a translator and the presenters spoke in Chinese, so I cannot give you much information. I did notice that several other U.S. companies had sent representatives who were native Chinese speakers.

Conclusion

The Chinese market is now full of grown tigers. I think they worry more about domestic competition for large domestic opportunities than they do about foreigners taking market share from them. That kind of competition has spurred them to catch up quickly in terms of technology and performance to where the big foreign competitors are. I foresee intense domestic competition in the short term leading to fewer, bigger, stronger players who will then be well positioned to compete in the global marketplace.


GREG TURETZKY is a principal engineer at Intel responsible for strategic business development in Intel’s Wireless Communication Group focusing on location. He has more than 25 years of experience in the GNSS industry at JHU-APL, Stanford Telecom, Trimble, SiRF and CSR. He is a member of GPS World’s Editorial Advisory Board. See his previous reporting on the 2014 CSNC, “Tigers, Tycoons on View at China Satnav,” and the 2013 conference, “Little Tigers versus Wolves.”

The statements, views, and opinions presented in this article are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of the authors present and/or former employers or any other organization the author may be associated with.

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