View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. Technology
June 19, 2017

GPS failure could lose UK £1bn PER DAY

The total daily loss could be as much as £1.5 billion, do you think this warrants government intervention?

By Tom Ball

A government report has found that the UK could lose £1 billion per day if the Global Positioning System (GPS) experienced major disruption.

With society now reliant on this technology for everyday navigation on mobile phones, for tracking, and even gaming, the impact of an event such as this would be dangerous beyond the financial haemorrhage.

Emergency services would be unable to handle the demand, emergency calls would be longer, congestion would be severe, and navigation systems would be not be operational.

GPS would not only impact navigation, it would affect multiple industries that rely on the technology for mapping, tracking, and timing.

The report outlines a day in the UK of using services that operate using GPS, some you might not have thought of include social media and online news, which are synchronised using GNSS time.

Shops, scientists and merchant vessels would also be included, with other examples spreading right across the industrial spectrum to fisherman and farmers.

GPS failure could lose UK £1bn PER DAY

Content from our partners
Scan and deliver
GenAI cybersecurity: "A super-human analyst, with a brain the size of a planet."
Cloud, AI, and cyber security – highlights from DTX Manchester

The report is titled ‘Economic impact to the UK of a disruption to GNSS’, it was commissioned by Innovate UK, a non-departmental public body operating with connection to the Government. London Economics, a specialist policy and economics consultancy worked on the report.

The report summarises the capabilities and uses of the system: “The Global Positioning System (GPS) is one – albeit the original and most utilised – of four Global Navigation   Satellite   Systems   (GNSS) that provide   positioning,   navigation   and   timing   (PNT) information via satellites orbiting in space. This information allows users with a compatible receiver (e.g. smartphone) to determine their position, velocity and precise universal and local time.”

READ MORE: Biometrics beat passwords for 93% of UK consumers

Impact has been felt before in the UK from disruption of this kind, as British industries were affected when a US satellite was decommissioned; it is thought that other satellites were also impacted.

With the potential for such all-round chaos, there is now a conversation rising surrounding government intervention, and possibly the implementation of a commercial GPS backup in the event of disruption.

Websites in our network
Select and enter your corporate email address Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
  • CIO
  • CTO
  • CISO
  • CSO
  • CFO
  • CDO
  • CEO
  • Architect Founder
  • MD
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.