After declaring itself as the first service provider to offer 4G services in India, Bharti Airtel had announced the related tariff plans and device support yesterday. After Kolkata, which is the first city to grace 4G services, the telecom provider also plans to launch it in Bengaluru. According to The Economic Times, Bharti Airtel is in talks with Qualcomm to buy the latter’s 4G licenses for Rs. 6000 crore which will enable it to launch 4G services in Delhi and Mumbai, too. Reportedly, this deal is likely to be closed in June which will be accompanied by technology agreements between the two companies. With this, Airtel will be able to offer its 4G services across major commercial cities in the country. Needless to say, 4G offers a handful of benefits over 3G services and the most important attribute is the lightening speed.
Airtel to planning to extend 4G services to other cities
Qualcomm had bagged airwaves in Mumbai, Delhi, Haryana and Kerala in the 2010 auction and had paid Rs.4,900 crore. They were in talks with Bharti Airtel to sell 74 percent stake, last year. However, the talks were halted due to the telecom department cancelling its permit as the chip maker didn’t apply for licenses within three months of the auction. The 2010 auction ended in June, while Qualcomm applied for permits only for as late as December 2010. Moreover, apparently, Qualcomm applied for BWA permits under four different companies, while violating action guidelines as the winner can nominate just one company to get licence. Qualcomm later merged four companies into one entity for licenses and airwaves. Reportedly, Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) ruled in favour of Qualcomm's India unit and it is all set to receive spectrum in 10 days.
This decision enabled further talks between the company, followed by Airtel’s most recent 4G announcement. “The sale is Qualcomm's decision, we are not involved at this point,” said HS Bedi, Chairman and Managing Director of Tulip Telecom, one of Qualcomm's two JV partners in India.
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