Vladimir Yevtushenkov’s holding company AFK Sistema unveiled the country’s first smart phone equipped with the Glonass navigation chip as the government seeks to challenge U.S. control of satellite navigation.
Devices with chips developed by Sistema and state-run Rusnano will go on sale for 10,990 rubles ($360) next March, Yevtushenkov said in a televised briefing with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in late December.
“We should start selling it by March 8 as a present for women so they can always identify on the map where their husbands are,” Putin said.
Glonass is a Soviet-era project that stalled after funding collapsed along with communism in 1991. The government this year earmarked 27.9 billion rubles ($906 million) for the project, which faced a setback last month when a Proton-M rocket that aimed to deliver three Glonass navigation satellites into orbit fell into the Pacific Ocean.