This report is the extension of the first report about the Global Positioning System (GPS). It is compiled with the aim and confidence to conclude what the first report has already initiated. It substantiates its mission; that is why, it is very vital and significant. The question that the research attempts to answer is as follows: is the launching of GPS by the American government possible in Kenya? The paper also attempts to investigate strategies that America should seek to employ in order to actualize its objectives and noble mission. These and other related questions have become a concern of the first report. Therefore, it is just logical to experience this second report, which responds to those concerns.
The second report has achieved a lot, but has faced some challenges. A geographical gap between America and the country under research is very big. Our physical presence in Kenya was possible. This paper is meant to conduct interviews and making observations. That was not possible as a source of primary data. Therefore, the researcher has solely focused on secondary data. The secretive nature of American defense is another limitation in our study.
The Scope of the Report
This study has been designed to cover only the relevance of the Global Positioning System (GPS) in Kenya only. The report may refer to other East African countries, but this is done in order to show the viability and potentiality of GPS in Kenya and by Kenyans.
The Description of the Product Including Its Features and Benefits
The GPS application was developed in 1973 by the United States Department of Defense under the control of NASA and became operational in 1994. It included a satellite navigation method, but was improved to perform several functions. This application was developed majorly for military operations and surveillance, but was adopted by many civilians, who use this application for various purposes, including land survey, direction guide and the location of objects. GPS is used as a source of online information to improve global productivity and economy, and at the same time improve safety and the protection of environment.
GPS works by sending radio signals from an orbiting satellite to GPS receivers on the Earth surface. These receivers collect and further transmit the signals to specific positions, for example a street sign and the name of the road, time information and velocity. Positions and information are then stored in the Geographic Information System that can be accessed later by users. This information is widely used by intelligence organizations and crime detectives around the world to uncover security threats faced by different nations, including accessing terrorism information. Therefore, GPS becomes a right arm in fighting international insecurity. This idea of having the GPS application adopted is a welcomed idea that should be embraced by all countries in order to share economic, environmental, safety and technological information to make the world a safer and better place to live. For the current report, the application will be launched in Kenya, which is a major target for terrorist groups and organized crimes.
GPS operates in a highly competitive environment with a number of navigation system providers that have aided vessel navigation over the years. Some of them include GlONASS, Automotive Navigation System, Marine Navigation System, Inertial Guidance System and Robotic Mapping (NetMBA, Competitor analysis), which help pilots and captains locate their destinations when on the sea or in the air. Direct customers are the government, aviation companies, navigation organizations, learning institutions and metrological departments that give weather forecasts. The beneficiary of these services is the public, who travel using sea vessels and through the air. Other benefits include safety and trade exchange among countries, without any fear of abductions, as it was the case in Kenya and Somalia, where United States nationals were abducted and saved by the American Seal military unit. The timely reception of signals leads to efficiency in response to natural disasters, fire breakouts and insecurity ranging from abductions to terrorist attacks.
The success and the full adoption of the GPS technological application depend on several external environmental forces that need to be fully incorporated. The key factors are political, economic, social, technological and environmental (PESTE) that impact either positively or negatively the marketing and adoption of this product idea.
Target Market and Competitive Analysis
There are many prospective customers for the GPS technology in Kenya. The meteorological department, the Kenyan Army, the Kenyan police and other individuals are just a few examples from the private sector. Effective marketing requires the market to be divided into smaller sub-portions in order to enhance the effectiveness of the marketing process. This is what is known as market segmentation. It requires the market to be looked at as if it is made up of many different markets. It follows thereafter that these markets are treated differently depending on their needs. This does not spare the entire marketing process from changes.
In the Kenyan market for the GPS system, the target market segment is the Kenyan Army. The segment identified above are still a potential market, but it is perhaps the one that will benefit from this technology to a greater extent. The Kenyan Army is well-known to be comprised of able troops, who are well-versed with technologies they use. For example, the army was among the troops that restored peace in Sierra Leone. Though the technology they are using currently is quite complicated, army men appear to have undergone intensive training not only in terms of the military perspective but also in terms of technological usage. This army of the Kenyan government is also the leading army in the east African region in terms of weapons and technological development, and technologies applied in operations. Therefore, launching GPS is not a big problem for them. They will just need to be given some minor orientation how this system works.
Characteristics of the target market segment
The income level of the Kenyan Army is not a block to the penetration of this technology. This is because the army will not purchase this technology directly. Purchasing and other costs related to it will be the responsibility of the Kenyan government. The latter is concerned with security threats by al-Shabaab terrorists, and also East African countries at large. This means that these countries are ready to welcome any effort that is meant to help in security operations in Somalia. Besides, the technology fits the Kenyan Army because of the fact that the Kenyan economy is the best performing economy in the Eastern African region. Many foreign countries, which are in the forefront in fighting world terrorism (such as France and the USA), have also pledged support to the Kenyan government in an attempt to wipe out the Somalia militia. The government will therefore be able to finance the implementation of this system. The only effort that needs to be made is to let the Kenyan government understand benefits that come with the GPS application.
There will be a pull factor when trying to persuade the Kenyan government. This is because of the effects that the al-Shabaab war will have on the Kenyan economy. If the country will be able to win this war, its economy will be boosted significantly. Therefore, it is certain that the government will welcome any effort to have its economy boosted. Other sections, such as individual citizens, may find this technology expensive for them.
The Kenyan Army needs GPS more than any other section of the government. An efficient system is necessarily bearing in mind the environment, in which the army is operating. Remote places in Somalia are a major restrain to the use of technology. These areas are not covered well by mobile phone networks or Internet services. The introduction of this system will be of great benefit to Kenyan troops. This is because GPS will be able to operate even in the most remote areas in Somaliland and far away from the East African coastline.
Bearing in mind that the Kenyan army has used other technologies, such as the Automotive Navigation System, the introduction of this system will not be the alienation to the Kenyan Army. The only difference between these sets of technologies is operating procedures, but the principles are almost similar. It will not be wrong to conclude that the Kenyan army is composed of knowledgeable individuals, who can understand the training offered concerning the use of GPS. Furthermore, it is expected that servicemen are going to highly welcome this new technology. This is because they will perceive advantages linked with this technology, including boosting their personal safety and the improvement of their operations. Indeed, as it has been identified earlier, a serviceman in operation in Somalia is not concerned about the price of the technology provided.
The demand for a surveillance system in Kenya is inevitable. This is because the introduction of the GPS system in Kenya comes at a time when the world is in its effort to curb militia activities. For example, several terrorist attacks have been made on hotels in Kenya since the operation in Somalia began. The country has also lost a couple of servicemen in Somalia, while others have sustained minor, if not major injuries. This clearly explains the demand of the government for a surveillance system. The establishment of the GPS tracking system will necessitate the establishment of command centers in Kenya to coordinate the whole system. This further creates a market for the support technology to enhance the performance of GPS. For example, NASA will further have a chance to supply necessary software and support the technology needed for the full operation of GPS. There are thousands of soldiers in Somali and along the East African coast. If everyone is to be tracked with the help of the GPS tracking system, then the number of GPS tracking devices will be big. Therefore, the Kenyan Army is a potential market for GPS with a reasonable demand level.
The purchasing behavior of the Kenyan Army is one of characteristics that NASA is going to benefit from. It is because of security threats that the country has experienced over the last few years. The Kenyan government is known to be always in the first among East African countries in terms of keeping its forces at the forefront. The Kenyan Army holds the most sophisticated arms in this region, and the government is known to budget heavily weapons and other security enhancing devices. From this close examination, it is the most probable that the Kenyan government will consider adding another feature to its security operations in Somalia.
In Kenya, NASA will face competition from other tracking system providers. Some of them include the Automotive Navigation System, Marine Navigation and Inertial Guidance. These have dominated the global navigation market. Kenya is not excluded from this earlier establishment. The Automotive Navigation System serves almost the same purpose as the GPS system. However, unlike GPS, this satellite system is devised for use in vehicles. As stated earlier, many principles used in the tracking technology are basically the same. The difference is in the methods of operation. The Automotive Navigation System uses GPS devices that are designed for navigation purposes. This is a system that has been used by pilots and captains for navigation and the location of their position in the air or on the sea. The system has been solely used by the Kenyan Navy to protect the country from attacks from the Indian Ocean. It is also the one that Kenyan soldiers use to track their way out in Somali. However, this system is not very famous among some groups in operation in that war. It is mostly familiar to pilots, captains and few skilled servicemen.
The personnel uses the satellite system to obtain position data that can be used to trace the device. The system is usually mounted on automobiles. It is then connected to a map database that provides this device with a necessary algorithm. The user of an automobile can follow a specific route as indicated on the device. The device in the vehicle is fitted with software that contains a map. From this map, this device enables the automobile user to know a specific location, where he or she is located. The automobile user can also be traced by other people from another central station. This clearly identifies this feature as closely related to the GPS application. The major discrepancy is that GPS is more advanced. Automotive Navigation is less accurate as compared to the GPS application. For example, several motorists have found themselves in danger of being misled by this system. However, none of such cases has been reported during the Kenya intervention in Somali. Nevertheless, the use of this system by the Kenya Defense Forces is minimal.
Another competitor of NASA is the Marine Navigation System. Probably, this may be a larger competitor than earlier. It has been used for quite some time by sailors on the sea. Like any other consumer, the users of this system among the Kenyan Navy may resist to the introduction of this new technology. Consumers are known to stick to their long-used products because of brand loyalty. There will be an uphill task for NASA to try to convince the Kenyan government to move away from this system and adopt the GPS system.