EU and US agree on common satellite navigation signal

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An interoperable GPS-Galileo signal will, once the EU’s Galileo system becomes operational, provide for more accurate satellite navigation systems and boost commercial opportunities for the development of new products and services.

The EU and the United States agreed on 26 July 2007 on the use of a common GPS-Galileo signal after a joint EU-US compatibility and interoperability working group overcame technical challenges to design an interoperable GPS-Galileo civil signal. 

The optimised signal is said to allow the users to receive GPS and/or Galileo signals with higher accuracy around the world and to contribute to “protect common security interests”.  

Greater signal availability is also expected to enhance commercial opportunities for the development of new Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) products and services with manufacturers said to “have the benefit of adequate lead time to ensure products developed will meet the needs of users around the world”. 

The agreement builds on a EU-US co-operation agreement on the promotion, provision and use of Galileo and GPS systems and related applications signed in 2004. It confirms that the services of the two systems will be fully compatible and interoperable. 

The Commission is set to submit to the Council, by September 2007, detailed alternative proposals, including all possible options of public funding, for the financing of Galileo – currently in deep trouble. The Council will take the final decision on the completion of Galileo in its meeting on 1-2 October 2007.

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