India space agency, Indian Space Research Organisation had launched a made-in-India GPS in space known as NavIC and had been in advanced talks with world-class chip manufacturers like Qualcomm and Broadcom in a bid to get them to include support for NavIC alongside Global Positioning System, GLONASS etc.
Qualcomm has recently released three new chipsets that will come with support for India’s NavIC satellites developed by the big brains at ISRO. It should be noted that NavIC stands to compete against Russia’s GLONASS, European Space Agency’s Galileo and Japan’s QZSS.
So, the support for NavIC will be seen on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 720G, 662 and 460. These are budget to mid-level performing chipsets that will be seen on upcoming budget-friendly smartphones.
NavIC is designed in such a way that it can offer better and accurate GPS readings as opposed to GPS and other satellite positioning services. It focuses only on India. According to ISRO, NavIC offers a sharp accuracy of up to 5 metres.
ISRO chairman Dr K Sivan, said in a statement, “ISRO is satisfied with the efforts of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. towards incorporating NavIC and we urge OEMs to leverage it for future handset launches in India.”
He further added, “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.”.
For the unversed, NavIC’s space installation was done in 2016, creating a massive network of seven navigational satellites as a part of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) program.
Besides making GPS on our smartphones better, NavIC will also be effectively used by the Indian Air Force and military offering surveillance on an encrypted connection. Another important point is that NavIC will also come handy especially during disaster management, geodetic data capture, aerial and marine navigation.