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SSTL responds to Galileo report

Guildford, UK, November 14, 2007: Following publication of the report “Galileo: Recent Developments” by the House of Commons Transport Committee. SSTL would like to make the following observations:

  • It is right for the public sector to request up-to-date information on the costs and benefits of the Galileo system. The previous cost-benefit analysis published several years ago by independent consultants PriceWaterhouseCoopers indicated an excellent ratio of benefit to cost and SSTL believe that this should still be the case.
  • It must be acknowledged that the deployment of Galileo has taken longer than anticipated and there is a danger that an undesirable side-effect of such a review could be further delays to the project.
  • SSTL could help to deploy the first phase quickly and at low cost. The company’s experience with the GIOVE-A satellite has demonstrated that satellites can be built in approximately two years at relatively low cost. GIOVE-A was completed on time and within budget, was launched at the end of 2005 and has been generating Galileo signals from space since early in 2006. SSTL estimates the cost of building and launching a 12 satellite constellation to be approximately EURO 600M. This compares favourably with other costs being floated and reflected in the committee’s report. In other words, a useful system could be put in place for a small fraction of the total cost for deployment mentioned in the report.
  • Competition is fundamental if the public sector is to achieve value for money over the lifetime of the system. SSTL agrees with conclusion 11 of the report that competition is vital at all contract levels.

    The deployment of an “early” system consisting of 12 satellites broadcasting open signals working in tandem with the US GPS system, would bring tangible benefits to European transport users and would help establish Galileo in the marketplace. The benefits of an early system would include better navigation accuracy and much better navigation performance in areas without a good view of the sky such as city centres and valleys in hilly regions.
    Full text of the transport committee report is located athere.