We Indians, who have been much accustomed to a word called ‘GPS’ may be looking to replace that with the word ‘NavIC’ in the days to come. There is a pride in doing that, since there is an opportunity to shift from an USA-owned Global Positioning System to our own NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation).
Though this system developed by ISRO was available for use in certain domain, recently steps to make NavIC available to larger public use has now materialized. It was announced on January 21, 2020 that the smartphones running on new Qualcomm chipsets will be using Indian regional satellite navigation system NavIC within the Indian region and neighbouring countries.
NavIC – The Significance
- America has GPS, Russia has GLONASS, the European Union uses Galileo, China’s system is known as BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS). Now India enters this capability list with NavIC.
- The new Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G, 662 and 460 mobile chipsets are 4G-enabled and will support NavIC.
- Xiaomi and Realme are the popular smartphone brands in India and they have announced that their smartphones offerings most likely to use NavIC.
- All commercial vehicles registered from 1stApril 2019 onwards are mandated to have vehicle trackers, which are also NavIC-enabled. More than 30 companies are approved NavIC-enabled vehicle trackers in India.
It is also argued that the NavIC will be more accurate than the GPS as it primarily covers India and a few neighbouring countries. It is also reported that the technology has been designed to keep in mind Indian conditions like congested localities, building with thick walls and regions where connectivity is patchy.