Termination of Selective Availability Adds Value to Garmin Products

May 2, 2000

OLATHE, Kan. -- Garmin International, a worldwide leading manufacturer of navigation and communication products, applauded the U.S. government's termination of selective availability (SA) -- the intentional error that degraded signals from Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites. This federal action means that current and future GPS users will enjoy greater accuracy with their GPS receivers.

Prior to the May 1 announcement and subsequent termination of SA, consumers received position accuracy of 150-300 feet. But Tuesday, Garmin GPS users noticed position data of 30 feet or less from their exact location -- an overnight increase in position accuracy of five to ten times.

"Obviously, this is very big news for our customers, for our dealers and for us," said Gary Kelley, director of marketing, Garmin International. "By terminating SA, the government has added instant value to millions of Garmin users, who will enjoy greater position and velocity accuracy at the touch of a button."

The change in signal integrity benefits Garmin users in all markets.

For instance, outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy increased accuracy in all Garmin GPS applications -- including Garmin's newest product, the eTrex Summit®, due out in June. Not only will hunters, hikers, and anglers receive better position data from the eTrex Summit's GPS function, but they will also enjoy the added features of its true electronic compass and barometric altimeter.

While mariners will enjoy better position accuracy, Garmin will continue to support boat owners who need sub-five-meter accuracy by providing differential GPS (DGPS) products like the GPSMAP® 215, GPSMAP 225 and GBR 21 differential receivers.

In the freshwater market, anglers can now find their favorite fishing spots easier through the aid of Garmin's full line of fixed-mount GPS and GPS/sonar equipment. Users will now be able to position their boats within feet of that special underwater structure.

While aviators will now enjoy greater situational awareness when making an approach, Garmin continues to work with federal agencies and other organizations on developing avionics that are compatible with the wide-area augmentation system (WAAS), which is widely viewed as the future of aerial navigation.

The decision to terminate SA also points to a great future for companies like Garmin. The U.S. Department of Commerce predicts the GPS market to double in sales over the next three years, from $8 billion to $16 billion.