BENGALURU: Smartphones that support NavIC - Navigation with Indian Constellation - the navigation system developed by India using Indian Regional Navigation Satellite Systems (IRNSS), will be out in the market for the first time by the end of 2018.
A receiver chip that supports NavIC will be installed on the phones from next year. It is not yet clear as to whether the Central government will insist on the use of NavIC as the default navigation system in India.
According to Manuel del Castillo, associate director of Broadcom, which developed the receiver, Xiaomi Mi8 will be the first phone with the receiver. Apple, Samsung and Huawei, too, have bought the chip, so phones manufactured by them next year will enable NavIC navigation.
The receiver has the ability to access signals from all navigation systems, such as GPS, Galileo and GLONASS. NavIC’s service will be restricted to India and its surrounding regions.
While Huawei will add NavIN to its navigation bouquet by the end of this year, Samsung is expected to launch phones with the Broadcom chip in early 2019. NavIC is expected to have an accuracy of up to 50-60 cm. India is the sixth country in the world that has an indigenous navigation system.
While countries like Russia insist on using GLONASS - its own navigation system - along with GPS, it is not yet clear whether NavIC will be put on the same pedestal in India.