Japan’s QZSS Service Now Officially Available
Services of the Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) officially started on Nov. 1, according to a statement from Japan’s National Space Policy Secretariat, Cabinet Office.
Government and industry hope the turn-on will generate new services worth nearly 5 trillion yen ($44.4 billion) by 2025 as players like SoftBank Group, Mitsubishi Electric and Hitachi plan applications in automated driving, farming and more.
“Our lifestyles would be impossible without GPS,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at initialization ceremony marking the start of the service. The Michibiki satellite constellation, known officially as QZSS, would let Japan turn “a new page in history,” he continued.
The system keeps at least one of the current four Michibiki satellites over Japan at all times, offering an advantage over GPS-only services with a precise bird’s-eye view uninterrupted by mountains or tall buildings. With special receivers, the satellites can narrow margins of error to 10 centimetres. The signal is free for anyone with a device capable of receiving the signal.