Russia has successfully launched another round of GLONASS satellites bringing the grand total to 18 of the navigational units online. "The GPS competitor -- first begun in the Soviet era and only recently revived after years of post-collapse neglect -- is now theoretically capable of providing coverage to the entire Russian territory, with First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov claiming that the first compatible consumer devices will be available in the middle of next year. By 2010 Russia plans to open the system up to outside nations as well, contributing to an eventual three- or even four-system global market"
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