Mobiles with NavIC navigation system to be available by first half of 2020

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Qualcomm Technologies has announced support for Isro-developed navigation system Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC) in select chipset platforms, saying people will be able to use the facility as early as in the first half of 2020.

Select Qualcomm chipset platforms will start supporting the Indian Regional Naviation Satellite System (IRNSS), NavIC by late 2019 and commercial devices with NavIC support are expected to be available during the first half of 2020.

The first-ever NavIC demonstration using Qualcomm's Snapdragon mobile platforms is expected to be showcased by the company during the Indian Mobile Congress at New Delhi, which is being held today and tomorrow.

Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, in collaboration with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has developed and tested the NavIc in select chipset platforms across their upcoming portfolio.

The initiative will help accelerate the adoption of NavIC and enhance the geolocation capabilities of mobile, automotive and the Internet of Things (IoT) solutions in the region. 

The solution is built on Qualcomm Technologies’ leading foundational inventions in location-based position technology. As part of the updated platforms, the Qualcomm Location Suite now supports up to seven satellite constellations concurrently, including the use of all of NavIC’s operating satellites for more accurate location performance, faster time-to-first-fix (TTFF) position acquisition, and improved robustness of location-based services. 

"These enhancements will enable select mobile, automotive and IoT platforms to better serve key industries and technology ecosystems in the region and will help improve user experience for location-based applications especially in dense urban environments where geolocation accuracy tends to degrade," Qualcomm Technologies said.

K Sivan, Chairman, ISRO and Secretary, Department of Space said NavIC would help harness space technology and benefit every Indian.

"Qualcomm’s technology leadership and support for NavIC on their mobile platforms will bring the benefits of this indigenous solution to every Indian. ISRO appreciates Qualcomm for enabling the technology demonstration of NavIC support on mobile platform for the very first time,” Sivan said.

“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," he said.

Durga Malladi, senior vice president and general manager, 4G/5G, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc said “this collaboration is the result of our long-standing presence and investments in the region, including a substantive local engineering force and ongoing initiatives aimed at empowering India’s technology and innovation ecosystems, such as the Qualcomm Design in India Challenge and Qualcomm Innovation Lab.”

To date, ISRO has built a total of nine satellites in the IRNSS series, of which eight are currently in orbit. The constellation is designed to provide accurate position information service to users in India as well as the region extending up to 1500 km from its boundary, which is its primary service area. 

It is designed to provide two types of services - Standard Positioning Service (SPS), which is provided to all users and Restricted Service (RS), which is an encrypted service provided only to the authorised users. The system is expected to provide a position accuracy of better than 20 m in the primary service area. The name NavIC 

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