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Business News/ News / India/  All smartphones to have NavIC by December 2025: Rajeev Chandrasekhar
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All smartphones to have NavIC by December 2025: Rajeev Chandrasekhar

All smartphones to support NavIC by end-2025, says Indian minister after Apple's adoption.

Union minister of state for skill development & entrepreneurship, electronics and information technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar. (PTI)Premium
Union minister of state for skill development & entrepreneurship, electronics and information technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar. (PTI)

New Delhi: All smartphones will have to support NavIC by the end of 2025, minister of state for electronics and information technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar said after Apple successfully supported the indigenous navigation system in some of the new iPhone 15 models.

5G smartphones would have to support NavIC, short for Navigation with Indian Constellation, by 1 January 2025, and other phones by December 2025, the minister said. NavIC was developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro).

The minister said the government could also consider giving incentives for using Indian-made or -designed NavIC-supporting chips in system designs in the next round of production-linked incentives or PLI scheme.

“In line with the incentives that we have announced under the IT hardware PLI (production-linked incentive), where cashback to companies can significantly go up if they use India-designed or -manufactured chips in their systems, we will extend the same idea to the smartphone PLI as well for using domestic chips that support NavIC," Chandrasekhar told reporters on Thursday.

“We want to create an incentive structure that will encourage companies under the PLI schemes to use NavIC-supporting chips designed or made in India," Chandrasekhar said.

Incentives similar to those under the IT hardware PLI could be offered to smartphone makers in the revised scheme. He did not specify the timeline for when the revised scheme will be brought out.

Under the IT hardware PLI scheme, companies that manufacture laptops, computers and servers and source locally made components, including chips, will get additional incentives.

“When we have a mobile phone grid chip, which is performance-competitive, cost-competitive, we will certainly incentivize mobile phone devices to incorporate that as well."

He added that the government has already made it mandatory in the automobile segment to use GPS that uses the NavIC chipsets.

Chandrasekhar clarified that the requirement would be for incorporating NavIC in addition to other GPS systems that are already in use.

These include the US’s Global Positioning System (GPS), Russia’s Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS), the European Union’s Galileo, China’s BeiDou, and Japan’s Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS).

NavIC uses seven satellites which cover India and neighbouring areas, including the Indian Ocean region. The independent navigation satellite system will improve further when more satellites are added to the existing network, which will enable NavIC to be available in other countries as well.

Apple is the latest adopter of NavIC, while some Chinese brands such as Xiaomi, Poco, Oppo, Vivo, OnePlus use the system in some of their models.

Most smartphones enable the use of all navigation systems for developers, and with NavIC getting adopted by Apple, among other systems, the doors for the Indian system’s global development will also open up.

“Chandrayaan 3, ISRO’s successful launch of the Aditya L1, its maiden solar mission, and the mainstream acceptance of the NavIC technology shows India’s growing power as a space nation," Chandrasekhar said.

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Gulveen Aulakh
Gulveen Aulakh is Senior Assistant Editor at Mint, serving dual roles covering the disinvestment landscape out of New Delhi, and the telecom & IT sectors as part of the corporate bureau. She had been tracking several government ministries for the last ten years in her previous stint at The Economic Times. An IIM Calcutta alumnus, Gulveen is fluent in French, a keen learner of new languages and avid foodie.
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Published: 14 Sep 2023, 11:14 PM IST
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