In a big push to alternative for the United States’ global positioning system (GPS), chip manufacturer Qualcomm has launched three new chipsets - Snapdragon 720G, 662 and 460 - with support for Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC), developed by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) as the Indian version of GPS, reports Gadgets Now.
NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation) is the operational name of the ISRO’s Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS).
Chinese smartphone makers Xiaomi and Realme have confirmed that they will be launching phones with NavIC support based on the newly-launched Snapdragon chipsets soon.
As many as eight satellites have been deployed by the ISRO for NavIC. Out of these eight, seven will provide positioning, location, navigation and timing (PNT) services while another one will offer messaging services (IRNSS-1A).
“Isro is satisfied with the efforts of Qualcomm Technologies, towards incorporating NavIC and we urge OEMs to leverage it for future handset launches in India,” ISRO chief K Sivan was quoted as saying.
“The availability of NavIC across multiple mobile platforms will help enhance the geolocation capabilities of smartphones in the region and bring the benefits of this indigenous solution to Indian consumers for their day-to-day use,” he added.
The NavIC is designed to provide accurate information service to users in India as well as the region extending up to 1,500 km from its boundary, which is its primary service area.
ISRO considers the NavIC to be more accurate than GPS with position accuracy of 5 m. It is powered by dual frequency (S and L bands) while GPS is dependent only on L band making it more accurate than GPS.