Europe’s satellite navigation system is becoming central to all forms of transport services.

Europe’s satellite navigation system is becoming central to all forms of transport and location-based services, and many other activities linked to time synchronization (mobile telecoms networks, financial transactions). By deciding to launch the Galileo program, Europe will place itself in a position to access a key enabling technology with huge socio-economic benefits evaluated at more than 17 billion euros between 2008 and 2020 (Price Waterhouse Coopers study, November 2001). It is of utmost importance that Galileo is developed as an end-to-end system, with a strong involvement of “downstream“ industry (terminals, applications and services), in order to make sure that the space infrastructure will adequately answer users’ needs and be adapted to the market conditions in 2008 (when the constellation will be fully deployed). As a result, European “downstream” industrialists Thales, Eutelsat, Telespazio (Telecom Italia), Kongsberg Seatex, Septentrio, and FDC, are prepared to work together and to play a role of “Service Developer,” as the private body to support a joint undertaking and to work with the entity in charge of managing the development of the space infrastructure.