India rejects Qualcomm spectrum application

Dylan Bushell-Embling
23 Sep 2011

India's Department of Telecom has followed through with threats to reject Qualcomm's application for the BWA licenses it paid around $1 billion for.

The DoT has informed Qualcomm that it missed the deadline for the application, confirming a preliminary decision made last week, Reuters reported.

Qualcomm paid 49.13 billion rupees ($993.1 million) for BWA spectrum four circles in last year's auctions, in a bid to use the spectrum to facilitate TD-LTE deployment. Unless a detente can be reached with the government, Qualcomm will have to forfeit its payments.

But it could be in DoT's interest to negotiate a compromise as well – a telecom consultant told Reuters that denying an application to Qualcomm on “flimsy grounds” will “send a very worrying signal” to international investors eyeing India's telecom market.

Qualcomm has stated that it considers the grounds for the rejection of the application to be “baseless.”

Another sticking point hinges on the fact that Qualcomm applied for the licenses through four nominee companies, while the government states the terms stipulated that only one nominee could apply for licenses.

But Qualcomm has offered to merge the four nominee companies into one, according to Dow Jones.

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