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What Is NavIC, And Why Does the Government Require It For Every Smartphone?

What Is NavIC, And Why Does the Government Require It For Every Smartphone?

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has developed a regional satellite navigation system called NavIC. The name is an acronym for ‘Navigation with Indian Constellation. It is similar to the Global Positioning System (GPS) of the United States, but with a few differences. For one, it is designed to be more accurate for the region it covers. Secondly, it is meant to be used for other purposes such as disaster management, vehicle tracking, and so on.

The Indian government recently announced that they are mandating that all smartphones sold in the country must have support for NavIC, their version of GPS. This has caused some confusion among consumers, so let’s take a look at what NavIC is and why the government wants it on all smartphones.

What is NavIC?

The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System, also known as NavIC, is a satellite-based navigation system that provides accurate real-time positioning and timing services. It is designed to provide position, velocity and time measurements within India and its surrounding region, up to an elevation of 1500 meters. The system consists of a constellation of seven satellites, three in geostationary orbit (GEO) and four in inclined geosynchronous orbit (IGSO).

The GEO satellites are positioned over the equator at an altitude of 36,000 kilometers. They remain stationary with respect to the Earth’s surface and revolve around the planet at the same speed as the Earth’s rotation. The IGSO satellites are positioned at an inclination of 29 degrees with respect to the equator. They appear to move from west to east with respect to the stars owing to their orbital motion.

The NavIC system provides two types of services: Standard Positioning Service (SPS) and Restricted Service (RS). The SPS is provided free of charge and can be used by anyone with a compatible receiver. The RS is encrypted and is intended for use by authorized users such as the Indian armed forces. The NavIC constellation is completed by two more satellites, IRS-P8(I) and IRS-P8(A), which serve as backups for the other seven satellites. All seven satellites are equipped with Rubidium atomic clocks that provide highly accurate timekeeping.

What are the benefits of NavIC?

India’s space agency ISRO has developed an indigenous satellite navigation system, NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation), as an alternative to the American GPS. The system consists of a constellation of seven satellites, three in geostationary orbit and four in inclined geosynchronous orbit.

The main benefit of NavIC is that it will provide accurate Position, Velocity, and Time (PVT) information to users in India as well as the region extending up to 1500 km from its boundary, which is its primary service area. In addition, it will also provide two types of supplementary services – Standard Positioning Service (SPS) and Restricted Service (RS). While the former is available to all users, the latter is meant for authorized users only.

Some of the key benefits of NavIC are:

– It will be useful for fishermen and others who operate near the coast as it can provide accurate information on position, velocity, and time even in challenging environments with heavy tree cover or mountainous regions.

– It will help in better disaster management as real-time data on location and movement of people and vehicles can be used for effective rescue and relief operations.

– It has potential applications in fields such as mapping and surveying, navigation for motorists and aircraft, timing for railways and power grids etc.

The government’s plan for NavIC

The government’s plan for NavIC is to provide a more accurate and reliable navigation and timing service for India that is independent of the Global Positioning System (GPS). The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) is the name of the navigation satellite constellation, which consists of seven satellites. The system has been designed to provide accurate position information service to users in India as well as the region extending up to 1500 km from its boundary, covering most of South Asia.

The government plans to make NavIC technology mandatory in all smartphones sold in India so that people can take full advantage of its benefits. This would mean that phone manufacturers would need to ensure that their devices are compatible with the system. The move is likely to benefit not just consumers but also businesses that rely on accurate location data for their operations.

Why does the government want NavIC on all smartphones?

The government believes that having NavIC on all smartphones will help boost the adoption of the technology, and it will also allow more people to benefit from its accuracy. In addition, the government sees NavIC as a key part of its plans to build a robust digital infrastructure in the country. By making NavIC available to all smartphone users, the government hopes to encourage more businesses and developers to create applications and services that make use of the technology.

How will NavIC be used?

NavIC is a constellation of eight satellites that provide accurate positional information for users in India and the region extending up to 1500 km around it. The system is similar to GPS but is more accurate, with a position accuracy of up to 5 meters. The Indian government plans to make NavIC available to all smartphone users in the country so that they can benefit from its improved accuracy. In addition to improving navigation for regular users, NavIC will also be used by emergency services and the military.

There are a number of ways in which NavIC can be used:

Regular users: The most obvious use for NavIC is as a navigation aid for regular users. The system can be used for tasks such as planning routes, tracking location, and geotagging photos.

Emergency services: NavIC can be used by emergency services such as ambulance and fire services to improve their response times. The system can be used to track the location of vehicles and personnel so that they can be deployed more efficiently. Military: The military will also make use of NavIC’s improved accuracy for tasks such as targeting weapons and guiding missiles.

Are there any risks associated with NavIC?

Yes, there are some risks associated with NavIC. The most significant risk is that the system is not yet fully operational. There are also potential risks associated with the use of NavIC signals for timing purposes. These signals could be disrupted by space weather or other factors, which could lead to inaccurate timing information. Finally, there is a risk that the system could be used for military purposes, which could pose a threat to international security.

Chipsets Supporting India’s NavIC Navigation System

India’s NavIC navigation system is supported by a number of chipsets, including the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, 855, and 865. Other chipsets that support NavIC include the MediaTek Helio G90T, P60, and P70. NavIC is India’s own navigation system, which was developed by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). It is similar to the US-based GPS system, but with a few notable differences.

One of the main advantages of NavIC over GPS is its accuracy. While GPS has an accuracy of around 5 meters, NavIC can achieve an accuracy of up to 20 meters. This makes it ideal for use in precision applications such as mapping and surveying. Another advantage of NavIC is its coverage. While GPS only covers around 70% of the world’s surface, NavIC has coverage over 95% of India’s landmass. This makes it much more useful for those living in rural areas or remote regions.

The government has been pushing for all smartphones sold in India to support NavIC. This is because it believes that having a domestic navigation system will be beneficial for both national security and disaster management purposes.

Why Are Some Countries Looking Beyond GPS?

There are a few reasons why some countries are looking beyond GPS for their navigation needs. One reason is that GPS can be inaccurate in certain areas, especially when there are tall buildings or other obstructions. Another reason is that GPS signals can be jammed or spoofed, which can cause problems for navigation. Finally, GPS is a U.S.-based system, so other countries may want to have their own navigation system that they can control. NavIC (Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System) is one such alternative navigation system that is being developed by India.


The Indian government’s push for NavIC support on all smartphones is a move that will likely benefit the country in the long run. With better positioning accuracy, NavIC can be used for a variety of applications such as disaster management, fleet tracking, and mapping. While there are some challenges that need to be addressed before NavIC can be fully integrated into smartphones, it is clear that the technology has great potential and could very well become an essential part of our lives in the future.

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