Wed. Sep 27th, 2023
Indian Government Plans to Mandate NavIC Navigation Support for Mobile Devices

The Indian government has recently announced that it intends to make NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation) support mandatory for all mobile devices by 2025. NavIC is a satellite-based navigation system, similar to the US Global Positioning System (GPS), developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

NavIC became fully operational in April 2018 with the launch of its seventh satellite. Its development began in 2013 when the first satellite, IRNSS-1A, was launched. The system offers two services: the standard position service (SPS) for civilian users and the restricted service (RS) for strategic users.

The NavIC constellation primarily covers India and the surrounding region, extending up to 1,500 km beyond the country’s borders. Its coverage area includes India, the entire Indian Ocean region, parts of South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.

The system has various applications, including transportation (terrestrial, aerial, and marine), location-based services, personal mobility, resource monitoring, surveying and geodesy, scientific research, time dissemination and synchronization, and safety-of-life alert dissemination.

Compared to other major navigation systems worldwide, NavIC has a smaller number of satellites in its constellation. While NavIC has seven satellites, GPS has 31, GLONASS has 24, Beidou has 44, and QZSS has four. In terms of coverage, NavIC is focused on India and surrounding areas, while GPS, GLONASS, and Beidou provide global coverage, and QZSS covers Japan and the Asia Pacific region.

NavIC offers a positioning accuracy of 3 meters, while GPS has an accuracy of 5 meters. NavIC is available in two frequencies (S and L band), whereas GPS is only available in the L band.

To improve NavIC, ISRO has plans to launch more satellites in the constellation and expand its coverage globally in the future.