In September 2022, we reported that the Indian government was planning to make NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation) support mandatory in all smartphones sold in India from January 1, 2023. NavIC is the country’s in-house satellite navigation system, similar to BeiDou (BDS), Galileo, and GPS. Reportedly, the government had private meetings with multiple smartphone brands, including Samsung, on the matter. It was said that the phone brands had sought time until 2025 to start offering support for NavIC in all their upcoming devices.
Well, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology of India, has now spoken on the matter. According to the spokesperson (via ET), the Indian government will make it mandatory for smartphones with 5G connectivity that will be sold in the country to support NavIC from January 1, 2025. As for mobile phones without 5G connectivity, it will be mandatory for these devices to start offering support for NavIC from December 2025.
At the moment, many smartphones from Samsung that are on sale in India support NavIC, including the Galaxy S23, Galaxy M54, Galaxy F54, and Galaxy F14. So, it looks like the company was already working on making its devices compliant with the latest mandate in the country. Currently, it’s unclear if Samsung has started offering all the new phones in India with support for NavIC, but if it hasn’t, it won’t be a problem for the brand to start doing so. On a related note, the recently launched Apple iPhone 15 supports NavIC.
India's NavIC satellite constellation has five fully operational satellites that cover the Indian subcontinent region, as well as the whole of the Middle East, China, and parts of Australia and Africa. It offers a location tracking accuracy of 5 meters in ideal conditions and 10 meters in non-ideal conditions. NavIC is expected to have a total of 24 satellites in the system to offer worldwide coverage and higher accuracy (with L1 and L5 bands).