The EU has been historically worried about depending too much on the US GPS system because there was always a remote risk that the US might switch it off. Launching its own system made some sense and now that the pro-Russian Donald (Prince of Orange) Trump has taken over the White House and pondered out loud if he is allowed to nuke Europe, the investment is looking rather wise.
Galileo is designed to ensure the region has access to its own, more accurate satellite services and will be compromised of 24 satellites once complete.
There are now 18 satellite in orbit, enough for the EC to switch it on for real-world uses. There are three initial services that Galileo will be used for.
The first is called Open Service that will work in conjunction with GPS to provide even more specific location information for smartphones and in-car navigation systems. The second is called the Public Regulated Service, which is listed as an encrypted, service for government-authorised users such as civil protection, fire brigades and the police. Finally the service can now be used on location beacons used as part of the search and rescue service Cospas-Sarsat, helping reduce location accuracy from 10km to 5km, potentially improving rescue times as a result.
No world on when your devices will be able to use it.