ISRO | Oppo"s | 17th January 2022 | Virtual Wire
In a rather interesting development, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Oppo India, the local arm of China's electronic giant Oppo, to strengthen research and development (R&D) in the NavIC messaging service.
Under the MoU, Oppo India and ISRO will exchange the technical information of NavIC message services to build ready to use, rapid, application-specific end-to-end solutions by integrating NavIC services with Oppo mobiles as per the requirements of Indian users. A statement released by Oppo India said that this MoU between Oppo India and ISRO will pave the way for more future collaborations between the two for developing indigenous technological solutions by incorporating NavIC messaging features into Oppo smartphones. Oppo India's smartphone manufacturing unit is present in Noida where its research and development centre is present in Hyderabad.
NavIC or Navigation with Indian Constellation is a satellite-based independent positioning system used for critical national services. It was previously called Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS). NavIC's primary function is to provide position, navigation, timing (PNT) services with good accuracy. Additionally, it also has the capability to broadcast short messages mainly for 'safety for life' emergency alerts in regions with poor communications, especially the oceans.
Picture - Indian Times
It can provide these services to the entire Indian mainland as well as to an area extending up to 1,500km beyond the Indian mainland. It's also recognised by the International Maritime Organization as a component of the World-Wide Radio Navigation System (WWRNS). However, the deal has left many Indians perplexed as on the one hand, the government is scrutinizing Chinese investments in India and has banned scores of Chinese apps, yet on the other hand, ISRO which is India's premier space agency is signing deals with Chinese companies, notwithstanding the recent downturn in bilateral relations between the Asian giants.