GLONASS-enabled phone by March 2011

GLONASS-enabled phone by March 2011

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Russia: Russian company Sistema is likely to launch GLONASS-enabled phones in March, 2011. The company plans to make 500,000 GLONASS chips by then. In addition, the country is likely to introduce duties of around 25 percent by 2012 on the import of mobile phones without the GLONASS navigation system, as part of efforts to encourage worldwide adoption of the technology.

GLONASS chip has been developed by Sistema’s subsidiary Sitronics (SITR.RTS) jointly with state technology corporation Rosnano.

Russia has spent more than USD 2 billion in the last decade on developing the GLONASS system seen as a potential rival to the US-based GPS. The state hopes the project will spark a domestic technology revolution. However, the project suffered a major setback this month when three GLONASS navigation satellites plunged into the Pacific Ocean after a rocket launch went wrong. Russia currently has 20 satellites of the needed 24 to complete the system.

Russia plans to introduce duties of around 25 percent by 2012 on the import of mobile phones without the GLONASS navigation system, as part of efforts to encourage worldwide adoption of the technology.

In August, the head of the state GLONASS operator, said firms such as Nokia, Motorola and Qualcomm were in talks with Russian chip manufacturers about the mass production of handheld devices enabled with both GLONASS and GPS.

Source: Reuters