According to a senior ISRO official, talks with the Chinese smartphone manufacturer is in its final stages, and if all goes well, the company is likely to launch handsets integrated with NavIC in six to seven months.
Xiaomi may release handsets that come with the navigation system developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), called NavIC, towards the end of 2020.
According to a senior ISRO official, talks with the Chinese smartphone manufacturer is in its final stages, and if all goes well, Xiaomi is likely to launch handsets integrated with NavIC in six to seven months.
“Xiaomi should come on board in three-four months. If so, in six-seven months, we should have the first mobile with NavIC in India,” said the official.
Responding to query from Network18 at the sidelines of an event in Bengaluru, the official said, “Xiaomi is in agreement, though nothing is finalised yet. We are targeting middle-level mobiles. That way, it is accessible to more people.”
NavIC is an autonomous regional satellite navigation system that provides accurate real-time positioning and timing services. The navigation system covers India and a region that is 1,500 km around its boundary, with plans for expansion.
Between 2018 and 2019, ISRO has been in talks with a few mobile device manufacturers to integrate NavIC.
In October 2019, ISRO partnered with chip-maker Qualcomm to support India’s Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC), on select chipset platforms. Qualcomm has the highest marketshare among smartphone chip manufacturers, which could ensure a wider outreach for NavIC.