A guide introduces the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System to visitors at a space-themed exhibition in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, Feb 18, 2019. [Photo/IC]

China’s Beidou Navigation Satellite System has been used in more than half of the world’s countries and regions, according to the system’s chief designer.

Yang Changfeng, who is also a national political adviser, said on Thursday that the system will soon be accessible to every user in “any corner of the planet” to offer navigation and positioning services.

“This year will mark the completion of the Beidou network. The last satellite in it has been transported to the Xichang Satellite Launch Center and is undergoing prelaunch preparations. It will be launched in June,” he said.

Yang made the remarks as he spoke to reporters in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing before the opening of the third session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the nation’s top political advisory body.

Beidou is the country’s largest satellite system and one of the four global networks, along with the United States’ GPS, Russia’s GLONASS and the European Union’s Galileo.

Beidou is widely used in many public services in China and globally, including transportation, agriculture and disaster relief. It is also playing a helpful role in the ongoing fight against the novel coronavirus outbreak, the scientist said.

About 70 percent of mobile phones registered in China are compatible with Beidou-enabled services, Yang noted.

The nation began research and development of its own space-based navigation and positioning system in 1994, as it sought to reduce its reliance on foreign networks.

In 2000, China launched the first two Beidou satellites to establish an experimental system. In 2003 and 2007, another two experimental satellites were launched to join the trial run.

Beidou’s first mass-produced satellite, which was also the first in its second-generation series, was launched in April 2007. The first two of Beidou’s third-generation satellites were launched in November 2017.