The US government and the European Union (EU) are expected to reach an agreement within a week to provide a service that will use both the US global positioning system (GPS) and the EU's proposed Galileo satellite network.
EU and US satellites would send information on the same radio frequency, enabling receivers to take signals from both systems and combine the data.
'The market probably will drive dual-use receivers. We think probably that single GPS-specific or Galileo-specific receivers will phase out in time,' said Raymond Clore, a GPS-Galileo senior adviser from the US State Department.
The agreement would mean the service being provided by 60 satellites instead of 30, increasing coverage and reliability of the network.
The EU aims to have 30 satellites in space by 2010 with a fully-operational Galileo system by 2012, though there has been disagreement over funding.
The completion date for the project has moved from 2008 to 2011 and it has already cost EU member states €388m (£264m) more than expected.
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