Qualcomm announces support for India’s NavIC Satellite Navigation System
In a bid to improve location services in the region, Qualcomm has officially announced support for India’s Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) in select chipsets across the company’s upcoming portfolio. This initiative, which was undertaken in collaboration with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), will make use of India’s NavIC constellation of 7 satellites to enhance the geolocation capabilities of mobile, automotive, and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions in the region. The collaboration successfully conducted its first-ever NavIC demonstration using the Qualcomm Snapdragon Mobile Platform on September 19 and is scheduled to showcase the solution again at the ongoing India Mobile World Congress.
The Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC) system covers India and a region extending 1,500 km from its borders. It provides accurate real-time positioning and timing services on two levels – the “standard positioning system” which will be open for civilian use and the “restricted service” which is encrypted and reserved for authorized users only. The constellation boasts of an accuracy of 10 meters for the standard system and brings it down to just 0.1 meters in the reserved service. Now that the system is officially supported by Qualcomm, it’s expected to improve the user experience for location-based applications in India in the following months.
The new solution is built on Qualcomm’s leading foundational inventions in location-based position technology. As part of the updated platforms, the Qualcomm Location Suite will now support up to seven satellite constellations at the same time, including all of NavIC’s operational satellites for improved accuracy, faster time-to-first-fix (TTFF), and improved stability of location-based services in the region.
In a statement regarding the announcement, ISRO Chairman Mr. K. Sivan was quoted saying, “NavIC is a critical step forward in our pursuit of harnessing space technology for national development and we are eager to make it accessible to everyone for their day to day use. ISRO is very happy to work with Qualcomm to enable NavIC on Mobile platforms. Qualcomm’s technology leadership and support for NavIC on their mobile platforms will bring the benefits of this indigenous solution to every Indian.”
According to Qualcomm, support for NavIC will be made available in select Qualcomm Technologies’ chipset platforms starting November 2019, with commercial devices expected to hit the market in the first half of 2020. Upcoming Snapdragon 7-series and 6-series chipsets are also expected to come with 5G support.