The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a space-based signal providing precise timing, location, and velocity information. Just as any number of receivers can tune into a commercial TV or radio station, there is no limit on the number of people who can use GPS. With equipment ranging from small, hand-held receivers to large, rack-mounted electronics, anyone, anywhere, at any time can use the GPS signal. Initially, GPS applications were used for national defense; these remain in place today. The GPS signal has also become important commercially, from electric power distribution to land survey, car navigation, and management of telecommunications networks. In sponsoring this study, the U.S. Department of Commerce's Office of Telecommunications provides a current view of the commercial status and trends of the industry since its availability for civilian use in 1984, projects its development over the coming years, and identifies factors that will affect the growth of commercial GPS markets.
Originally published in: Project Report Prepared for the International Trade Administration, Office of Telecommunications, U.S. Department of Commerce, pp. 1-95.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Reprint series. The Reprint was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1992 to 2011 that represented previously published journal articles, book chapters, and reports with the permission of the publisher. RAND reprints were formally reviewed in accordance with the publisher's editorial policy and compliant with RAND's rigorous quality assurance standards for quality and objectivity. For select current RAND journal articles, see External Publications.
Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/research-integrity.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.