TDSAT relief for Qualcomm, BWA spectrum cancellation stayed
In a relief to Qualcomm, telecom tribunal TDSAT on Wednesday stayed the DoT's decision to cancel the US-based firm's Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) spectrum licences, which it bagged in last year's auction for over Rs 4,900 crore.
New Delhi: In a relief to Qualcomm, telecom tribunal TDSAT on Wednesday stayed the DoT's decision to cancel the US-based firm's Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) spectrum licences, which it bagged in last year's auction for over Rs 4,900 crore.
Passing an interim order, a Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) bench headed by its chairman, Justice S B Sinha, restrained the Department of Telecom (DoT) from allotting the BWA spectrum earmarked for Qualcomm to any other operator till further orders.
Moreover, the TDSAT also stayed the government from forfeiting the bid amount of Rs 4,900 crore paid by Qualcomm to the DoT in the BWA auction last year.
Asking the DoT to file a reply to Qualcomm's plea within two weeks, TDSAT posted the matter for next hearing on October 20.
The tribunal's directive came in response to a petition filed by Qualcomm challenging the DoT's notice of cancellation of spectrum allotment in four circles that the US firm had successfully bid for under the auction.
Qualcomm had bagged BWA spectrum in the Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana and Kerala circles and LoIs was allotted to the company.
During the proceedings, senior advocate C A Sundaram, appearing for Qualcomm, said its application for an internet service provider (ISP) licence was rejected. This was ostensibly on the basis that it had appointed four nominees for the spectrum, among other reasons.
Sundaram contended that Qualcom had bid for four circles and so it had made four nominees for the respective circles.
He further contended that it was according to the terms and conditions of the NIA (Notice Inviting Applications) that one nominee was to be appointed for each circle.
However, advocates appearing for the DoT said it was against giving spectrum to four different nominees of Qualcomm at a time.
In its petition, the company expressed fear that its licence may be revoked and the spectrum may be allotted to someone else. Moreover, according to the terms and conditions of the contract, the entire money can be forfeited if the spectrum allotment was cancelled, the company said.