U-blox taps deeper into unmanned aerial vehicle market

Courtesy of www.koreatimes.co.kr

U-blox Korea CEO Shone Kim, left, poses with Peter Fairhurst, the company’s market development manager, while holding its NEO-M8P global navigation satellite system (GNSS) module at the COEX Convention Center in southern Seoul, Wednesday. / Yonhap

By Lee Min-hyung

U-blox, the Switzerland-based global positioning system (GPS) chip maker, unveiled its latest navigation module here, in its bid to tap deeper into the nation’s unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) market.

The company said Wednesday it will start supplying the NEO-M8P global navigation satellite system (GNSS) module to local companies in the UAV, broadcasting and heavy equipment industries, starting as early as the third quarter of the year.

“The new module with centimeter-level accuracy will help us expand our foothold in the Korean market, diversifying our revenue streams in various areas including the agricultural, marine and aerial sectors,” U-blox Korea CEO Shone Kim said in a press conference, at the COEX Convention Center in southern Seoul.

“The nation takes up only some 8 percent from global sales, but our sales are growing some 20 to 30 percent each year,” he said. “That’s why the headquarters identifies Korea as a key market.”

The company stressed the new module will deliver high-precision positioning experience at an affordable price of less than one tenth of other existing GNSS modules.

The head of the U-blox local subsidiary expressed optimism over its potential success here, citing the government’s investment drive.

“The government plans to invest some 40 billion won ($33.8 million) in the UAV industry until July 2019,” he said. “The local UAV industry is still in its infancy. We believe our device will help them expand their presence into the global stage.”

The company is teaming up with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, and the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, to help local companies develop drones for public safety or military purposes.

“We will continue to share our technological expertise for government-led projects and cultivate manpower in the GNSS sector,” the U-blox executive said.

U-blox Market Development Manager Peter Fairhurst said the company will focus on supplying the module to a wider range of industries and continue to sign strategic alliances with local conglomerates and small- and medium-sized enterprises.

According to aerospace consulting firm Teal Group, the global UAV industry will be worth some 13 trillion won by 2023.