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Ethiopian company launches satellite navigation system

Ethiopia: SAN Metropolitan PLC launched satellite-based geographical navigation system at the Radisson Blu in Addis Ababa. Seife-Selassie Ayalew (Ph.D), General Manager of the company, said that the company had been working for the last three years to develop the mapping and data encoding practices for the navigation device.

The World Bank is involved in supporting the project through the Ethiopian Sustainable Tourism Development Program, a year-long matching-grant fund. The company’s Meri-Ethiopian satellite navigation system will soon be available for sale.

Seife-Selassie noted that there was no easier way to find a place, for one. Lack of stratified data of places and clearly identifiable addresses are huge burdens for people. The US-made device will now be able to serve both local users and tourists in locating places, Seife-Selaasie says. Easing traffic is also another lavish benefit to the system, the company man claims.

Drivers will pay as much as ETB 7000 (Ethiopian birr) for the device and will get navigation service for about 800 governmental and non-governmental organisations, 2,300 restaurants, 1,000 cafeterias and 1,000 guest houses and hotels, 150 travel agencies, and more than 30 museums and galleries. Many more public institutions are included in the company’s 30, 000 places that are marked on the map. It is noted that the mapping and data encoding processes alone are estimated to cost the drivers about ETB 1,500. Seife-Selassie confirmed that his company’s new device will provide the basic services of navigation in that it will assist drivers to get from one geographical coordinate to their desired destination. Nonetheless, he claims that more advanced technology will soon be available to the country.

Source: Ethiosports