Qualcomm gets 4G spectrum in India

Country offers spectrum to U.S. chipmaker, nearly two years after the company paid US$1 billion in auction, but cut its spectrum usage period, report says.
Written by Ryan Huang, Contributor

India has offered to grant 4G broadband spectrum to U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm, nearly two years after the company bid US$1 billion for it in an auction, report says. However, its spectrum usage period will be cut due to a delay in getting an Internet service license, according to Reuters.

In a report Wednesday, the newswire noted that India typically grants radio airwaves for a period of twenty years. This was cut by 18 months in Qualcomm's case by the telecoms ministry, and the company has been asked to roll out services in 3.5 years--compared with the five years given to other 4G winners, said Reuters citing a source with direct knowledge.

India's telecoms ministry, which initially rejected Qualcomm's application for an Internet service license needed to use 4G spectrum, agreed to grant the permit in October. The chipmaker eventually resolved a dispute in February paving the way for it to get the license.

According to Reuters, Qualcomm said that it was not responsible for the delay in getting the Internet license, and blamed it on the ministry's objection to its application. "We are studying the DoT's decision and will consider any and all options," it told the newswire.

Qualcomm had previously won spectrum in four regions including Mumbai, Delhi, Haryana and Kerala in the wireless broadband auction in 2010. However, its permits were revoked last year because of outstanding license fees owed by one the company's joint venture partners.

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