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IRNSS compatible smartphones likely to be launched in 2019, Xiaomi to lead the way

Indian smartphone market is among the fastest growing in the world. And it would grow more in the coming years. With the increase in the number of smartphone users, there would be naturally a spurt in the number of people availing services like navigation.

Among ISRO’s most ambitious vision for IRNSS/NavIC is that in the future IRNSS should replace GPS as the most preferred satellite navigation system for smart phone navigation.

Nilesh Desai, Deputy Director, SAC, says that, “1 million chips have been supplied to Indian smartphone manufacturers for NaVIC for mobile as ‘NavIC for mobile would soon be a buzzword”.

Manuel Del Castillo, Associate Director, Broadcom, which is a leading communications conglomeration of 20 technology franchises, said that “Broadcom supports IRNSS and provides support to it”.

He said, “Broadcom’s BCM47756 chip supports NavIC”.

Xiaomi, the Chinese mobile maker with a global presence, would be using Broadcom’s BCM47756 chip in MI8 series phone, which is expected to be launched in 2019.

Xiaomi Mi8 could be the first smartphone that would be compatible with NavIC and would be a trendsetter. But Xiaomi isn’t the only smartphone manufacturer that would use the BCM47765 chip. Manuel Del Castillo says Samsung and Huawei are equally interested in using the Broadcom chip. So it is expected that once MI8 is launched, other smartphone companies too would start offering NavIC compatible phones.

One of the key focus areas of NaVIC is mobile navigation and synergizing applications for communication and navigation.

Nilesh Desai has also coined another interesting term for it, ‘NavCom’, which is an acronym of Navigation Communication. He believes that ‘NavCom would be another buzzword defining the evolution of navigation vis-à-vis NavIC.

NavIC would be best suited for navigation in urban areas in India because NavIC satellites have a higher elevation than both GPS and Galileo satellites. This means NavIC would provide greater accuracy, precision and better resoluBroadcom

adcomm is also open to explore other avenues along with ISRO and contribute more to IRNSS and other satellite systems, says Manuel.

Other than high elevation, IRNSS is also free from L1 jammers and has fast acquisition rate. These are reasons enough why IRNSS would emerge as a game-changer in navigation in India.

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