iNavSat Targets Galileo Win Via SiRF Partnership
In an attempt to bolster its ranks and to strengthen its bid to secure the $2.6 billion concession to deploy and operate the Galileo satellite navigation system, the iNavSat Consortium welcomed SiRF Technology Holding Inc. [SIRF] to its ranks. According to SiRF, it was chosen by the three principal iNavSat partners – Inmarsat Ventures plc, the Thales Group and EADS Space – because of its unique market experience and knowledge.
The Galileo system is the European Union’s answer to the U.S.-based GPS satellite navigation system. The two systems will complement each other once the Galileo system is launched in 2008.
For iNavSat, adding SiRF could be a big boost in its efforts to with the contract. Unlike the GPS system, which is government-funded, the Galileo system will be backed by both public and private money, necessitating a return on investment by the companies bidding for the contract. “What SiRF has done [in the GPS space] is optimized for mass markets,” Kanwar Chanda, founder and vice president of marketing for SiRF told Satellite Today. “The ability to provide location into high-volume platforms like cellphones, PDAs, cost-effective car navigation systems and other consumer-oriented devices requires a unique technical expertise and business structure to make this technology affordable and available for these high-volume markets” will be key to realizing that return on investment, should iNavSat win the bid.
iNavSat is competing against the Eurely consortium, consisting of Alcatel, Finmeccanica SpA, Vinci SFR and Capgemini.