Indian space agency deal with China telco sparks a firestorm

JAIPUR An agreement between India’s space agency to swap technical details of its satellite-based messaging service with Chinese smartphone maker OPPO has provoked a backlash, underscoring the delicate state of bilateral relations.

A memorandum of understanding reached between the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and OPPO’s Indian branch, OPPO India, will enable China’s integration with the Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC) satellite-based navigational system used by messaging services and mobile phone users.

NavIC’s main job is providing position, navigation and timing (PNT) services but it can also broadcast short messages. This service is used to send safety warnings to areas with poor communications, particularly in maritime areas. NavIC provides regional navigation services covering the Indian mainland and up to 1500 kilometers beyond.

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