Russian Ministry of Communications has prepared a draft order in accordance with which all imported in Russia cell phones will need to support operating with GLONASS signals. It was noted that it’s not an outright ban for GPS only phones. But new technical requirements for mobile communication equipment will require GLONASS as needed option. This new requirements will take effect in the first quarter of 2014 .

The reason of this innovation is evident. Development of GLONASS is not at the pace that the Russian government planned to reach. No foreign producers nor close neiborhoods — the countries of the customs union are no hurry to implement equipment supporting Russian satellite signals in each device. Given the fact that the financing of the GLONASS program in 2013 will amount to almost 22 billion rubles, and by 2015 will reach 50 billion, the government decided to push a manufactuters using law. Reminding you that in early 2012, a proposal was suggested to increase the import duty on phones without GLONASS to 25%, but the initiative was rejected by Belarus and Kazakhstan and it’s stayed on 5% level.

However today a lot of cell phones are already equipped with GLONASS despite the fact that GPS+GLONASS unit has larger dimensions and consumes more electricity than a conventional model of GPS. For example Apple phones are capable of receiving GLONASS starting from iPhone 4s model. HTC, Nokia, Samsung, Huawei, LG, Philips, Sony are also producing some quantity of GPS+GLONASS supporting models.