The Indian government is pushing smartphone makers to enable support for its NavIC navigation system in new devices sold in the country from next year, a move that has spooked the industry due to additional costs and tight time frame.
What is NAVIC?
Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC) is an independent regional navigation satellite system designed to provide position information in the Indian region and 1500 km around the Indian mainland.
- NavIC was originally approved in 2006 at a cost of $174 million. It was expected to be completed by late 2011, but only became operational in 2018.
- NavIC consists of eight satellites and covers the whole of India’s landmass and up to 1,500 km (930 miles) from its boundaries.
- It is a regional system and so its constellation will consist of eight satellites.
- Three of these will be geostationary over the Indian Ocean, i.e., they will appear to be stationary in the sky over the region, and five will be geosynchronous – appearing at the same point in the sky at the same time every day.
- This configuration ensures each satellite is being tracked by at least one of fourteen ground stations at any given point of time, with a high chance of most of them being visible from any point in India.
- It covers India and a region extending up to 1,500 km beyond Indian mainland (primary coverage area). It provides position accuracy better than 20m and timing accuracy better than 50ns. The actual measurements demonstrate accuracy better than 5m and 20ns respectively.