New Delhi: In October 2019, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) developed an Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System – equivalent to the US Global Positioning System (GPS). The operational name of the Indian geo-navigation network is NavIC.

On Thursday, Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi launched its latest mobile device series – the Redmi Note 9 – in India, priced between $175 – $215 approx. (INR 13,000 – INR 16,000) with ISRO’s NavIC built-in.

As an autonomous regional satellite navigation system, it is currently capable of fetching accurate real-time positioning and timing services.

The system can cover Indian geography as well as a region extending 932 miles (1,500 kilometres) around the system.

​According to reports, Xiaomi’s ninth generation of Redmi devices running on a company-customised MIUI version of Google’s Android operating system, would prioritize NavIC over the traditional GPS system on Google Maps.

​ISRO designed the navigation system in partnership with US-based chipmaker Qualcomm. Support for NavIC has made its way into recent smartphone launches.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 720G, 662 and 460 mobile processors support NaVIC.

In December 2019, the US Congress designated India’s NavIC as an “allied” navigational system, alongside the European Union's Galileo and Japan's QZSS.

India kick-started the process of developing its own domestic navigation satellite system after the US refused to provide GPS data to the Indian Armed Forces during the 1999 Kargil conflict with Pakistan.

Currently, a constellation of seven satellites form the NavIC, providing critical satellite-based navigation signals for both civilian and military purposes.