GPS Solutions

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 13–22 | Cite as

Uncovering common misconceptions in GNSS Precise Point Positioning and its future prospect

  • Suelynn Choy
  • Sunil Bisnath
  • Chris Rizos
Review Article


Within the last decade, GNSS Precise Point Positioning (PPP) has generated unprecedented interest among the GNSS community and is being used for a number of scientific and commercial applications today. Similar to the conventional relative positioning technique, PPP could provide positioning solutions at centimeter-level precision by making use of the precise carrier phase measurements and high-accuracy satellite orbits and clock corrections provided by, for example, the International GNSS Service. The PPP technique is attractive as it is computationally efficient; it eliminates the need for simultaneous observations at both the reference and rover receivers; it also eliminates the needs for the rover receiver to operate within the vicinity of the reference receiver; and it provides homogenous positioning quality within a consistent global frame anywhere in the world with a single GNSS receiver. Although PPP has definite advantages for many applications, its merits and widespread adoption are significantly limited by the long convergence time, which restricts the use of the PPP technique for many real-time GNSS applications. We provide an overview of the current performance of PPP as well as attempt to address some of the common misconceptions of this positioning technique—considered by many as the future of satellite positioning and navigation. Given the upcoming modernization and deployment of GNSS satellites over the next few years, it would be appropriate to address the potential impacts of these signals and constellations on the future prospect of PPP.


Precise Point Positioning (PPP) Ambiguity resolution (AR) Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) RTK Convergence time 



The authors wish to acknowledge the efforts of all the entities contributing to the IGS for providing products for PPP; Ken Harima from RMIT University, Xiaodong Ren from Wuhan University and Paul Collins from Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) who provided some of the figures and results presented herein; colleagues who provided insight, data and stimulating discussions that greatly assisted in the preparation of this paper. The authors gratefully acknowledge the anonymous reviewers for carefully reading the paper and providing constructive comments. This paper was produced as part of the work of the International Association of Geodesy (IAG) Working Group 4.5.2: Precise Point Positioning and Network-RTK and the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) Working Group 5.4: GNSS.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ScienceRMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Earth and Space Science and EngineeringYork UniversityTorontoCanada
  3. 3.School of Civil and Environmental EngineeringThe University of New South Wales (UNSW)SydneyAustralia

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