Qualcomm is finally being granted 4G broadband spectrum in India. The U.S. chipmaker had bagged airwaves in Mumbai, Delhi, Haryana and Kerala in the 2010 auction. The company was also in talks to sell 74 percent of the stake to Airtel. However, talks halted following the telecom department cancelling its permit as Qualcomm 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, Qualcomm applied for BWA permits under four different companies, while violating action guidelines as the winner can nominate just one company to get license. Qualcomm then went on to merge four companies into one entity for licenses and airwaves. However, the issue was settled later.

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Qualcomm on 4G track….

According to reports, India grants radio airwaves for a period of 20 years, but Qualcomm's validity of the spectrum has been cut by 18 months. Telecom ministry has asked the company to roll out services in 3-1/2 years, when compared to five years, given to other 4G winners. It was only in October that Qualcomm was granted the permit required for Internet service license to use 4G spectrum, which was earlier rejected. Reportedly, Qualcomm revealed in a statement that it was not responsible for the delay in getting the Internet license, adding that the delay was caused by the ministry's objection to its application. “We are studying the DoT's decision and will consider any and all options,” it added.

After Airtel launched its 4G services in Kolkata, the telecom provider was said to buy Qualcomm’s 4G licenses, according to reports last month. The UK-based Augere Wireless Broadband has declared to invest roughly $60 million in the next three to five years to get fourth-generation (4G) broadband services to customers in India. Another 4G player is Reliance, who is concentrating on other technologies, along with LTE.


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