Qualcomm Technologies, a subsidiary of Qualcomm — one of the leading semiconductor and telecommunications companies — has collaborated with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and announced support for India’s Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) and Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC) on its select upcoming lineup of chipset platforms. The collaboration offered the first-ever NavIC demonstration with the Snapdragon Mobile Platform on September 19 and is expected to showcase it again at the India Mobile Congress (IMC) during October 14-16.
With NavIC, India became only the fifth country in the world to have its own GPS system. NavIC consists of 7 GPS satellites with plans to expand that to 11 in the future. It has two levels of service – the “standard positioning service”, which will be open for civilian use, and a “restricted service” (an encrypted one) for authorized users (including the military).
With the collaboration, the idea is to accelerate the adoption of NavIC and enhance the geolocation capabilities in the fields of mobile, automotive industry, and the Internet of Things (IoT). The company says the solution is built on Qualcomm Technologies’ inventions in location-based position technology, and as part of the updated platforms, the Qualcomm’s Location Suite now supports up to seven satellite constellations concurrently, in addition to all NavIC’s operating satellites for more accurate location performance, faster time-to-first-fix (TTFF) position acquisition, and improved robustness of location-based services. Further, these enhancements also enable select mobile, automotive, and IoT platforms to serve the key industries and improve the user experience for location-based applications in urban environments where geolocation accuracy degrades in dense areas.
Commenting on the collaboration, Durga Malladi, Senior Vice President and General Manager, 4G/5G, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc, said: “We’re pleased to enhance our commitment to India by enabling support for NavIC in our chipset platforms and continuing our work with ISRO to accelerate NavIC’s adoption.”
Similarly, Dr. K Sivan, Chairman, ISRO and Secretary, Department of Space, also commented: “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. ISRO is very happy to be working with Qualcomm Technologies to enable NavIC on Mobile platforms. Qualcomm Technologies’ leadership and support for NavIC on their mobile platforms will bring the benefits of this indigenous solution to every Indian. ISRO appreciates Qualcomm Technologies for enabling the technology demonstration of NavIC support on the mobile platform for the very first time.”
According to the company, support for NavIC will be available across select Qualcomm chipset platforms starting late 2019. Whereas, commercial devices with NavIC support are expected to be available around the first half of 2020. However, as already mentioned, Qualcomm Technologies and ISRO are expected to showcase NavIC support on the Snapdragon Mobile Platforms at the India Mobile Congress (IMC) during October 14-16.