Is Glonass set to be an alternative to GPS?

‘Want to keep a track of your dear ones whereabouts in this unsafe world?’
Sounds lucrative. Doesn’t it? And who’d even say no before the product is placed across and is tagged at about ₹3000? Perhaps this sense of insecurity is what the Russian telecom major JFSC Sistema wants to tap into in future.
It is soon to launch a mobile phone embedded with a special chip through which people who give the phone to others can recieve their location on their mobile phone, irrespective of whether it is on a GSM or a CDMA network. And that too, anytime of the day.
Glonass is the navigation and tracking system based on a network of 24 satellites around the globe that has been developed by the telecom provider.
Sistema has built this system as an alternative to US owned GPS (Global Positioning Systems) which is used by most mobile phone consumers in India to avail locationing services.
According to Russian estimates, about 10% of all smartphones in India already contain chips that combine both Glonass and GPS technologies.
How does Sistema intend to get a breakthrough in this market in India?
A deal was recently struck between Sistema and state owned BSNL to jointly develop Glonass services and applications here.
Now is Glonass set to compete with the already popular GPS? Although Russians explain that the two technologies are meant to complement each other, on fact that turns the tables in Sistema’s stride is that unlike the US that blocks out satellites in certain troubled regions, Glonass does not.
While the ‘safety’ angle rings a familiar objective in our minds, the real inclination of consumers towards this system can only be gauged once it comes into operation.


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