The navigation services are booming globally, and the Indian service providers and OEMâ€™s are also coming up with their navigation offerings in the country. Till now, only Bharti Airtel offers voice-based navigation service called Smart Drive. Now, state-run service providersâ€”MTNL and BSNL are readying to introduce navigation offerings in India.
MTNL and BSNL have reportedly joined hands with Russia-based NIS Glonass to offer satellite-based navigation services in India. NIS Glonass is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Navigation-Information Systems, in which JSFC Sistema owns 70.01 percent stake. Sistema also owns majority stake in Sistema Shyam TeleServices (SSTL), which is also known as MTS India.
According to a media report, a draft memorandum of understanding among these telcos and the NIS Glonass is being considered by the Government. The Russian company has recently made the Glonass System available to the global community for free use. The company had earlier expressed plans to participate in the projects of the Indian Government related to passenger information systems and fleet management systems.
The Indian Government is looking at spending Rs 39,110 crore in the next 5 years for the modernisation of the Indian railways network that will cover passenger information systems and fleet management systems. The plan is to modernise telecom and signaling for the Indian railways. The Indian Government has allocated Rs 2,002 crore in 2012-13 for telecom and signaling, which is more than double the allocation of the current year and the highest ever.
Besides the Governmentâ€™s plans on navigations, private players such asâ€”MapMyIndia and TomTom are banking high on their navigation services. Both the companies have a number of offerings in the country. Interestingly, Finnish handset major Nokia has also jumped into the navigation wagon with its mapping and location-based services.