India’s own GPS
The Indian Space Research Organisation and Chinese mobile manufacturer Xiaomi are in advanced stages of talks on provision of chipsets that can support NaVIC, the Indian version of Global Positioning System (GPS), an official said. The NavIC-friendly chipset, being manufactured by the US chip manufacturer Qualcom, is designed to provide accurate position information service to users in India as well as the region extending up to 1500 km from its boundary, which is its primary service area, the ISRO has stated earlier. Qualcom has announced that its chip is going to have NaVIC and they are releasing it.
- Now almost Xiaomi is in agreement to have it. Xiaomi may launch its mobile phones with NavIC chipsets, the ISRO official said. NavIC is the abbreviation of Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS).
- According to the ISRO, the IRNSS was developed for terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation, disaster management, vehicle tracking and fleet management and integration with mobile phones.
- It would provide Standard positioning Service (SPS) to all users and Restricted Service (RS), which is an encrypted service for only authorised users.
- The IRNSS is expected to provide a position accuracy of better than 20 metre in the primary service area. The ISRO official said the international body 3GPP has formally approved usage of NavIC, allowing the ISRO to collaborate with Qualcom.
- The system was developed partly because access to foreign government-controlled global navigation satellite systems is not guaranteed in hostile situations, as happened to the Indian military in 1999 when it was dependent on the American Global Positioning System (GPS) during the Kargil War.
- The Indian government approved the project in May 2013.