China is to build a satellite navigation system that will be operational in Asia by 2008, AFP reported, citing state media. The "Beidou" system will include five geostationary earth orbit satellites and 30 medium earth orbit satellites and will offer positioning accuracy to within 10 meters, speed accuracy to within 0.2 meters per second and timing accuracy to within 50 nanoseconds. These information services, the cost of which is unknown, will be available to commercial customers. It is unclear how the Chinese system will rival the US-built global positioning satellite system or the EU's Galileo satellite navigational system. China is expected to help develop the latter project.
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