New Delhi: US-based chip maker Qualcomm, which has BWA licences for offering mobile broadband services in four circles in India, Thursday said it expects to make an announcement on roping in a partner (telecom operator) soon.
The company is in discussions with various telecom operators for the past few months to sell stake in its broadband venture.
"It is our understanding that the LTE (Long-Term Evolution) ecosystem is now ready at Airtel, Aircel and Reliance and that the devices may be available later this year or early next year...we should make an announcement before that," Qualcomm CDMA Technologies Senior Vice-President Business Development (New Markets) Kanwalinder Singh said.
The company had earlier said it was looking at operators with 3G licences to develop the 3G and LTE ecosystem.
It is looking at commercially deploying LTE TDD technology for broadband services and then exiting its India venture. LTE is a technology that offers high-speed broadband and high-end multimedia services
Qualcomm had formed its India broadband unit after bagging Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) spectrum (radio waves) in four circles, Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana and Kerala, for about USD 1 billion at the auctions held in June last year.
Qualcomm has also sold 26 percent stake in the broadband unit to Tulip Telecom and Global Holdings for USD 57.72 million (about Rs 268 crore) last year.
Later, Qualcomm formed separate joint venture companies for the four service areas.
Asked if Qualcomm would participate in the second round of BWA spectrum auction, Singh said, "More spectrum is always good for the industry. Whether we participate or not it depends on the opportunity. The question is hypothetical as of now and we are focussing on what we have received".
The finance ministry has written to the Department of Telecom asking DoT to auction broadband spectrum at the earliest, a move that could help the government in meeting the deficit target of 4.6 percent of the GDP.
First Published: Thursday, July 21, 2011, 22:07