EU rejects 'exorbitant' price talk for Galileo maps

Oct 26, 2010
A European Space Agency technician in Noordwijk works on the Giove B satellite, part of the Galileo network - the European satellite navigation project, in 2008. A top European official slapped down reports that the much-delayed Galileo satellite navigation system could be 20 billion euros over budget, as he named a new contractor for the project.

A top European official slapped down reports on Tuesday that the much-delayed Galileo satellite navigation system could be 20 billion euros over budget, as he named a new contractor for the project.

European Industry Commissioner Antonio Tajani rejected the figure as "exorbitant" and "unimagineable", while insisting that the price tag for the system remained at 3.4 billion euros (4.7 billion dollars).

The Financial Times Deutschland, citing a German government report, said that the overall cost of the project, aimed to rival the US-built (GPS), could rise to 22.2 billion euros.

"I don't know where these figures come from," Tajani told a news conference, adding that any budget overruns would be calculated after all contracts for the projected are awarded.

Tajani pointed out that the satellite, which Europe aims to launch in 2014, is expected to bring 90 billion euros to the European economy over 20 years.

The European Commission official announced that SpaceOpal, a joint venture between German firm DLR and Italy's Telespazio, had won a 194-million-euro contract for the operations of the ground and space infrastructure.

It was the fourth contract awarded in the project. The last two contracts will be decided early next year, Tajani said.

Galileo aims to challenge the dominance of the set up by the Pentagon in the 1980s, which is widely used in a huge variety of like those in cars and boats.

The European system is intended to offer a superior accuracy of one metre (yard), compared to up to 10 metres for GPS, making it very useful for car drivers and farmers.

The European version will have global coverage and an encrypted, pay service for commercial clients, with extra information such as weather detail.

Russia is also developing a rival system known as Navigation Satellite System (), while China is working on the Beidou Navigation System.

Explore further: Why the SIM card has had its day

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

EU's Galileo satnav system over budget, late: report

Oct 07, 2010

Europe's Galileo satellite navigation system, meant to rival the US-built Global Positioning System (GPS), is over budget, running late and will be unprofitable for years, a press report said on Thursday.

EU unveils more precise satnav system

Oct 01, 2009

(AP) -- The European Union has unveiled an updated satellite navigation system that is up to five times more precise than the current GPS system.

Europe Wants To Speed Up Galileo GPS Program

Nov 18, 2005

Former European commissioner Karel Van Miert has been appointed mediator to accelerate Galileo, Europe 's satellite navigation program, said the European Commission on Tuesday.

Recommended for you

Why the SIM card has had its day

17 hours ago

The small microchips known as "subscriber identity modules" or SIM cards that are required for mobile phones to log on to a phone network will soon be 25 years old. While mobile phones and network technology ...

The UK doesn't yet need net neutrality regulations

Mar 04, 2015

The net neutrality debate in the US has ended, at least for now, with the Federal Communications Commission ruling for stricter regulation of telecoms and internet service providers (ISPs) in order to maintain ...

Italy adopts plans to shift into Internet fast lane

Mar 04, 2015

Italy's government adopted a six-billion-euro plan Tuesday to modernise its Internet network and improve access to broadband in hopes of shedding its reputation as one of Europe's online laggards.

Phone firms and the quest for the 5G Holy Grail

Mar 03, 2015

Lightning-quick downloads, driverless cars and remote surgery: telecom firms are racing to develop a new generation of "5G" mobile networks that could start to change the world in five years.

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

caeman
not rated yet Oct 26, 2010
I would like to say I am shocked by this development. But, I would be lying.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Oct 26, 2010
It'd be cheaper and more effective if they simply worked together.

Too bad the primary use of GPS is military manuver tracking.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.