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Thread: Is there a subscription cost for GPS?

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    Is there a subscription cost for GPS?

    Title says it all. I was speaking to one of my co-workers and she said she had a GPS system in her car made by Panasonic I believe which required her to pay a monthly subscription. Ive checked this site and have also done a few google searches and see nothing about paying for anything. My understanding was you buy the receiver and software and then mount and install and your good to go. She also told me in order to get access to re-routing it would cost an extra $200 a month. Can anybody help me out with this info?

    Thanks in advance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lexdiamond20 View Post
    Title says it all. I was speaking to one of my co-workers and she said she had a GPS system in her car made by Panasonic I believe which required her to pay a monthly subscription. Ive checked this site and have also done a few google searches and see nothing about paying for anything. My understanding was you buy the receiver and software and then mount and install and your good to go. She also told me in order to get access to re-routing it would cost an extra $200 a month. Can anybody help me out with this info?

    Thanks in advance.
    There is no subscription fee to use GPS.

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    Maximum Bitrate psyrex's Avatar
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    GPS is just a signal like AM/FM. It's broadcasted out and your receiver grabs it and does what it wants with it. You pay for a software that takes that information and compares it to a map and visually shows you where you are. When people pay subscription, it's usually for something else, like real-time traffic or weather or any other extra information that needs to be constantly generated.
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    Quote Originally Posted by psyrex View Post
    GPS is just a signal like AM/FM. It's broadcasted out and your receiver grabs it and does what it wants with it. You pay for a software that takes that information and compares it to a map and visually shows you where you are. When people pay subscription, it's usually for something else, like real-time traffic or weather or any other extra information that needs to be constantly generated.
    It might be for the real time traffic that she pays for then. She also said her husband pays the subscription so she may not be 100% sure.

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    Unless she has some kind of subscription to a service where you get new maps as they are updated?
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    Quote Originally Posted by psyrex View Post
    When people pay subscription, it's usually for something else, like real-time traffic or weather or any other extra information that needs to be constantly generated.
    for standard US GPS. The catch is the US government own the satellites, and can choose to switch off or re-route all civilian use of the system at any time they choose (like war). They can also limit the accuracy for civilian units. That is what they do currently.

    If you are in the EU then you have the option of using the Galileo satellites which is controlled by the EU. They can also shut-off functionality but I believe once it is fully operational you can pay the monthly subscription fee to the EU to get the pinpoint accuracy that GPS is capable of, and not the multiple meter inaccuracy of the civilian use of US GPS.
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    There is no fee for using gps service but apparently some people have been scammed by certain companies into believing there is.
    The satellites are owned by the government however it is EXTREMELY unlikely that they would ever switch the system off for any reason.

    The system works by measuring signal delay and there is no way that they can tell who is using it since no signal is sent out to the satellite. Unless they have a secondary system which uses signals not recognized by standard gps recievers they cant shut it off without losing use of it themselves.

    I believe the inaccuracy of some systems has more to do with the gps recievers hardware itself (cheap), not inaccurate signals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hindmost View Post
    There is no fee for using gps service but apparently some people have been scammed by certain companies into believing there is.
    The satellites are owned by the government however it is EXTREMELY unlikely that they would ever switch the system off for any reason.

    The system works by measuring signal decay and there is no way that they can tell who is using it since no signal is sent out to the satellite. Unless they have a secondary system which uses signals not recognized by standard gps recievers they cant shut it off without losing use of it themselves.
    The GPS includes a feature called Selective Availability (SA) that introduces intentional errors between 0 meters and up to a hundred meters (300 ft) into the publicly available navigation signals, making it difficult to use for guiding long range missiles to precise targets. Additional accuracy was available in the signal, but in an encrypted form that was only available to the United States military, its allies and a few others, mostly government users.

    SA typically added signal errors of up to about 10 meters (30 ft) horizontally and 30 meters (100 ft) vertically. The inaccuracy of the civilian signal was deliberately encoded so as not to change very quickly, for instance the entire eastern U.S. area might read 30 m off, but 30 m off everywhere and in the same direction. In order to improve the usefulness of GPS for civilian navigation, Differential GPS was used by many civilian GPS receivers to greatly improve accuracy.
    As of now, the SA is set to zero. But can be reactivated at any time. There is also a special subset of frequencies for the military that allow even better positioning.

    Also:

    The US military has developed the ability to locally deny GPS (and other navigation services) to hostile forces in a specific area of crisis without affecting the rest of the world or its own military systems.
    Because it is both an analogue signal AND digital signal. GPS is not just simply triangulation. It is very much so enhanced and then dumbed down on purpose!
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    Also in the EU, it will be government controlled, but also a government fee. No it is not a scam, it is a seperate entity from GPS. Completely Seperate. Different continent, different rules.
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    After doing a little research I see that you are correct Toaster. I was not aware of the selective availability feature. Seems to me like it would be a waste of time anyway. Since anyone with the capability to launch guided missiles can no doubt easily obtain a fully accurate military unit from the same guy they bought the missiles from LOL!

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