At the heart of countless business and safety critical operations and customer experiences lies an often-overlooked factor - Position, Navigation and Timing (PNT) data from publicly available satellites like the US GPS or the EU's Galileo.

Within the Government's recently publicised 2023 National Risk Register, the impact of the loss of PNT services is evaluated as "significant" - other risks in this category include major flooding, an outbreak of animal disease like foot and mouth, or loss of gas infrastructure[2].  

Many organisations are unaware of their reliance on PNT to deliver daily operations and to maintain customer satisfaction. While it may seem robust and reliable, the truth is that the resilience of PNT systems is not as steadfast as commonly assumed.

So, how can organisation be well-prepared for any future challenges and thrive in an increasingly PNT-dependent world?

Background

Individuals and organisations are used to accessing accurate position and navigation on their mobile devices in real-time. Highly accurate time is key to synchronizing many technological networks, including for telecommunications and energy.

The range of applications using PNT is experiencing exponential growth. For example, the demand for accurate delivery information in sectors like logistics and transportation is skyrocketing. Moreover, reliable PNT will be critical to the rise of autonomous vehicles and drones. With this rapid market growth, it is imperative for companies to understand and proactively address vulnerabilities. 

The market for satellites, the most common source of PNT, is also witnessing remarkable advancements. Reduced launch costs are paving the way for an anticipated doubling in the number of satellites in orbit in the next 2-3 years. This expanded satellite network presents new possibilities for enhanced PNT services and disruptive new solutions in a range of sectors.

Following exit from the EU, the UK is no longer an owner of Galileo (the European Union owned and operated Global Navigation Satellite System) and is looking at how to establish a robust PNT system as a key strategic capability for Defence and to protect key sectors of Critical National Infrastructure (e.g. Transport, Emergency Services, …).

At BearingPoint, we understand the two main challenges surrounding PNT:

  1. Many businesses and public services are unaware of their existing reliance on PNT nor have they considered resilience of current systems
  2. As more accurate PNT services become available (notably for position and navigation), using them effectively will be a key competitive advantage for businesses and a real opportunity for public services

Source: Rich Picture initially produced by BearingPoint and publicly available here.

 

As with many areas of risk management the biggest challenge can be the "unknown unknowns" and therefore we help organisations understand both the implications of PNT failure and potential benefits of embracing PNT. Through our expertise, we guide businesses and public sector organisations in identifying their dependencies on PNT, demonstrating the risks involved and outlining the necessary steps to mitigate those risks. By providing strategic insights we empower organisations to make informed decisions, enhance their overall resilience and take advantage of the opportunities PNT can provide.

Our Solution

Our proposition offers a unique combination of capabilities: expertise in the uses of PNT, strategic options analysis of capabilities and delivery excellence for implementation. With our deep understanding, we assist organisations in optimising the use of PNT for innovation, business operations and to maintain resilience.

We provide comprehensive risk management and mitigation strategies, enabling businesses to proactively address vulnerabilities and enhance their risk management frameworks. We can help organisations develop new services and strategies for revenue growth with PNT on the basis of customer need and strategic thinking.

Client examples

Working with the UK Space Agency we played a pivotal role in defining national user requirements for PNT, showcasing our comprehensive understanding of, and bridging the gap between, the technical and business aspects, of PNT.

BearingPoint were commissioned by a UK public sector agency to provide board-level advice on the potential options for UK Space-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) participation. We defined the PNT and SBAS national contexts, benefits and requirements resulting in identification of the commercial and revenue opportunities available to the agency and the business changes needed to realise them.

Key Benefits

We offer businesses and public sector organisations a healthcheck to assess the resilience of, and reliance upon PNT technology as well as options analysis on how to grasp the commercial opportunities.

Enhanced Visibility and Understanding: We enable organisations to gain a comprehensive view of how PNT can improve their operations and enhance resilience. By leveraging our expertise in PNT use cases, businesses can identify opportunities effectively and address areas where they may be unknowingly reliant on PNT.

Risk Management and Mitigation: We provide robust risk management and mitigation strategies by identifying and addressing PNT-related risks. Our deep understanding of the vulnerabilities within PNT systems allows us to guide businesses in developing proactive measures to mitigate potential disruptions and enhance their overall risk management frameworks.

Business Growth and Efficiency: Partnering with us empowers clients to grow their business, increase efficiency, and build innovative products and services. We work closely with organisations, demonstrating how PNT can be leveraged to optimise operations, enhance customer experiences, and drive bottom-line results.

 

 

[1] London Economics (2017)

[2] HM Government (2023), National Risk Register

 

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  • Tony Farnfield
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