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GNSS market in China to grow for next 20 years

Dr. Wang Yongquan, Chairman and CTO, ComNav Technology, China
Dr. Wang Yongquan
Chairman and CTO
ComNav Technology

Being the first high accuracy GNSS OEM board manufacturer in China and the world’s first company to produce GPS+BeiDou OEM board, ComNav is making its way into supplying competitive high accuracy GNSS solutions to worldwide customers.

How is the GNSS market in China and what prospect do you see for your company?
The market has developed over the last 3 years in China. There is a rapid change happening in the market and is improving fast and we see that this will continue to grow in the coming years. After the Beidou system was launched, the market has started to see this growth. And we believe that this will continue to grow for the next 20 years.

How will the positioning/geodetic market in China be in the coming days? Which are the top industries for Beidou applications in China?
In China, Beidou is synonymous for GNSS. I think that the market is going towards an integrated approach with GNSS, GLONASS and Beidou, and the geodetic market will take this route to come. But Beidou will mainly dominate it because of its good coverage across the Mainland China, including other neighbouring regions.

Currently the largest application is across the surveying segment, while I see in future agriculture will be a top user of the system.

Your company was founded only around two years ago, but we see it is growing well. What factors contributed to this growth?
I have been working in this industry for a long time and have founded and worked for similar companies. With this experience, we are venturing into manufacturing of GNSS OEM boards, apart from GNSS receivers and antennas. We have a good market right now in China for Beidou for which OEM boards and devices are in good demand. This has contributed to the growth of our company.

Apart from China, which countries are you seeing active applications for Beidou? Are you currently doing active business in Asia Pacific?
In Asia Pacific we see that a standalone Beidou has a good coverage, apart from GNSS and GLONASS. So, I think Beidou can be well applied in Asia Pacific countries. We think that countries in this region can adopt this well.

Currently we are working in several countries in Asia Pacific with our products, such as South Korea for Intelligent Transportation Systems, Australia for permanent stations and Philippines for port constructions. We hope to develop this market in India too, and are looking for cooperation with companies locally, by supporting them with our OEM products. We can work on larger partnership model, where we support them by technology and the local players can build their own devices locally.

Established players, for example, already dominated the Indian market. How do you see you can bring advantage to the customers, with your presence?
This is a very good question and a challenge to a company like us. I think India and China have long history of cooperation, and the competitions you are talking about are from players who have come not very long time back.

We developed the Beidou system, and India is looking at GAGAN system – hence I think there will be a need for larger cooperation in the coming days. The Beidou system can be applied in India as well in the future and hence for a player like us, we will have a definitive advantage as we have already started working with the OEM side of Beidou.

On top of that, we are looking at developing a local network to enable better support to local customers. We are taking utmost care of this network by offering good quality products at a competitive price.

How about service to customers? As you will be working with distributors, how do you see the after sales support model will be for your customers abroad?
We as a company have products that are more open in nature when compared with most of the systems that are closed. Hence our cooperation model with the local partners will be on a different line. So I think the service quality will be taken care well.

What do you mean by an open system?
Open system means we do not have any secret or hide any advanced technology to our clients that makes it easy for them to do the secondary development. And we could coordinate and cooperate with the client more closely.

At ComNav, we have good experience in GNSS technologies. From management perspective, we have experience in establishing many GNSS products within China and have vast experience when it comes to technology.

Being an OEM company, we want the products to be built around it as per the local requirements. Hence, we need to keep our technology open when we want to have integration and development at a local scenario. This will help us to enable better-integrated systems and solutions.

The industry is currently moving towards solutions approach than just limiting to hardware and post processing products. Do you have any virtual solutions for deformation monitoring, agriculture, etc.?
We already did lots of deformation monitoring system in China, especially for bridges, landslides and dam. We have matured solutions for deformation system which already been approved. It would be good if any international clients are interested in our system, we could offer the turnkey solutions to them. For agriculture, we are cooperating with the experienced system integrators by offering them high accuracy GNSS OEM boards. In short term, this will be our strategy.