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NavIC Support Becomes Mandatory for All Smartphones by 2025: Indian Government's Push for Indigenous Navigation

NavIC Graphic Representation

In a significant move towards bolstering India's indigenous navigation system, all smartphones are mandated to incorporate NavIC support by the end of 2025. This bold initiative follows Apple's recent inclusion of NavIC in its iPhone 15 models, setting a precedent for the industry.

The Vision of Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar

Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the Union Minister of State for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Electronics, and Information Technology, articulated this vision. He emphasized the need for widespread adoption of NavIC, or Navigation with Indian Constellation, developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

Deadlines for Compliance

To ensure the rapid integration of NavIC, the government has set clear deadlines. By January 1, 2025, all 5G smartphones must offer NavIC support. Subsequently, by December 2025, this requirement extends to all other smartphones.

Incentives for Indian-Made Chips

In a bid to further incentivize the adoption of NavIC, Minister Chandrasekhar hinted at the possibility of offering incentives to companies that incorporate Indian-made or -designed NavIC-supporting chips in their systems. This incentive structure aligns with the government's broader Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) schemes.

 Expanding the PLI Schemes

Chandrasekhar elaborated on the government's plan to expand the PLI schemes to include smartphone manufacturers. Under the existing IT hardware PLI scheme, companies that manufacture laptops, computers, and servers using locally sourced components, including chips, already enjoy additional incentives.

Performance and Cost Competitiveness

The minister stressed the importance of competitive Indian-made chips for mobile phones. He emphasized that when such chips become readily available, they will be actively encouraged for integration into mobile devices.

NavIC in the Automobile Segment

Chandrasekhar noted that, akin to the smartphone industry, the automobile sector has also been mandated to utilize GPS systems featuring NavIC chipsets. This requirement supplements existing GPS systems without replacing them.

NavIC on the Global Stage

NavIC, which employs a constellation of seven satellites covering India and its neighboring regions, including the Indian Ocean, is poised for further expansion. As more satellites join the network, NavIC's reach will extend to other countries, solidifying its global presence.

Apple and Other Adopters

Apple's embrace of NavIC technology marks a significant milestone. Other Chinese smartphone giants, such as Xiaomi, Poco, Oppo, Vivo, and OnePlus, have already integrated NavIC into some of their models. This widespread adoption opens doors for NavIC to become a global navigation standard.

India's Ascendancy in Space

Minister Chandrasekhar celebrated India's rising stature in space exploration. He cited recent achievements like Chandrayaan 3, ISRO's successful Aditya L1 solar mission, and the mainstream acceptance of NavIC technology as evidence of India's growing power in the field.

In conclusion, India's ambitious push for NavIC integration in all smartphones by 2025 reflects the nation's commitment to fostering indigenous technology and asserting its prowess on the global stage. As more smartphone manufacturers embrace NavIC, the future holds promise for this homegrown navigation system.

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