United States and several countries in abroad have widely adopted the Global Positioning System technology since its inception in 1995. Today the concept of satellite-based navigation is very essential and that’s precisely why all powerful countries in the world including China, Russia, the European Union, India, and Japan are all going ahead and building their own regional or global systems.
A study was conducted in US by RTI International – a North Carolina-based research organization on this subject. The same was sponsored by the US government’s National Institutes of Standards and Technology. It has assessed that the value of this GPS technology to the US economy is growing. Nearly 90 percent of the technology’s financial impact was obtained ever since 2010. Some sectors of the economy have realized the value of GPS technology. Where as some sectors are trying to identify new uses for it.
The period covered in the study was from 1984 to 2017. The nascent GPS network was first opened to commercial use in 1984. The study revealed that GPS has generated an estimated $1.4 trillion in economic benefits during that time period.
More than 200 experts in the use of GPS technology for various services like agriculture, positioning of offshore drilling rigs and location services for delivery drivers were consulted by the researchers. They found that the largest benefit of $685.9 billion was derived from the “telecommunications” category. Telematics was the second most valuable category at $325 billion. The third was location-based services on smartphones which valued at $215 billion.
The study examined what effect a 30-day outage would have due to a severe space weather event or nefarious activity by a bad actor. Variable like “precision timing” was considered for it. The study estimates that the loss of GPS service would have a $1 billion per-day impact. It is likely be higher during the planting season of April and May when farmers get highly reliant on GPS technology for information about their fields.
The study also revealed that GPS played a critical role in the digitization of telecom infrastructure and the advent of wireless technology. In the coming year’s wireless technology will see great heights.