All You Need to Know about NavIC - India’s homegrown alternative to the GPS navigation system

NavIC is the Indian-developed alternative to the GPS navigation system and the Government wants smartphone makers to adopt this technology in the new smartphones that will be manufactured in the coming days. Learn about NavIC here.
NavIC- India's Own GPS Alternative
NavIC- India's Own GPS Alternative

All You Need to Know about NavIC: NavIC is the acronym for Navigation with Indian Constellation. It is an indigenously developed satellite navigation system of India which is developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It is also known as the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System or IRNSS.

NavIC - Latest Updates

The Indian Government has asked the manufacturers of India-made smartphones to include support for the NavIC or Navigation with Indian Constellation. These changes need to be implemented in the phones manufactured in the coming year.

This announcement has put smartphone makers in a difficult position as the manufacturers need to incur additional costs in order to implement this India-specific requirement.

Current mobile chipsets are made to support the GPS and GLONASS which support the L1 Band. NavIC system used the L 5 Band and therefore hardware and software modifications needed to be done in order to implement the functionality.

This will increase the production costs significantly for the manufacturers of smartphones. 

What is NavIC?

NavIC project was approved in 2006 for an estimated cost of $174 million, it became operational in the year 2018.

The NavIC system is also known as Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System. The literal meaning of NavIC is a sailor in Hindi. Like a sailor navigates the oceans, this system will help users navigate the locations and will act as an alternative to the GPS and GLONASS which are developed by USA and Russia respectively.

Its accuracy is said to be on par with other navigation systems like GPS, GLONASS and Galileo.

The NavIC system comprises a system of seven satellites in orbit and two satellites that are on standby. It covers the whole landmass of India and also regions that extend 1500 km from Indian boundaries.

Currently, this system is used in public vehicle tracking, sending warning messages to fishermen at sea and tracking and providing information about natural disasters.

The future plan is to increase the number of satellites to 11 from the current capacity of 7 to boost the efficiency of the system.

Why does the Government want to implement NavIC in smartphones?

The move to implement NavIC is to reduce the dependence on foreign navigation systems, especially for sensitive sectors such as border security.


As these are foreign systems and are operated by defence agencies of the respective countries, there is a high chance of civilian service getting degraded or denied.


Being under Indian control, there will be no such instances.


Who developed NavIC?

NavIC was developed by Indian Space Research Organisation or ISRO.

What is the full form of NavIC?

NavIC stands for "Navigation with Indian Constellation." It is a navigation system on par with GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo.

How many satellites comprise the NavIC system?

Currently, seven orbiting and two stand by satellites comprise the NavIC system.
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