Qualcomm may get BWA spectrum this month: DoT

Last Updated: Thursday, April 19, 2012 - 21:38

New Delhi: US-based chipmaker Qualcomm may receive broadband wireless access (BWA) spectrum this month, a senior telecom official indicated Thursday.

"Very shortly, the final decision will get communicated to them (Qualcomm). There is just a process that has to be followed internally. I think anytime now, it should be completed," Department of Telecom Secretary R Chandrashekhar said.

Asked if it would be given this month, he said, "I would expect so."

Qualcomm had won spectrum for high speed data services in four circles -- Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana and Kerala -- through auction done by DoT in June 2010, and paid Rs 4,912.54 crore (about USD 1 billion).

However, it is yet to receive the spectrum as the company was locked in a dispute with DoT after the department in September, 2011 rejected its application for a Internet Service Provider (ISP) licence due to late submission.

DoT further said the Qualcomm's application sought four licences in the name of different entities.

Qualcomm later approached telecom tribunal TDSAT which ordered in the company's favour.

Qualcomm India President and South Asia Senior Vice President Avneesh Agrawal today said: "We have the licence but the spectrum is yet to be allocated. We are eagerly waiting for the spectrum".

Post the auction, Qualcomm in 2010 had formed a 74:26 joint venture company with Tulip Telecom and Global Holdings for providing services in India. The company had sold 26 percent stake in the broadband unit to Tulip Telecom and Global Holdings for USD 57.72 million (about Rs 268 crore).

Qualcomm plans to exit the venture after creating a long-term evolution, or LTE, network to roll out broadband wireless access services.

LTE is a technology that offers high-speed broadband and high-end multimedia services.

"We are in talks with telecom operators...We never wanted to be an operator. We participated in BWA auction to ensure that TD-LTE technology gets place in India. Now with recent roll out from Bharti Airtel, we have seen TD-LTE being adopted," he said.


First Published: Thursday, April 19, 2012 - 21:38

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