Qualcomm gets India BWA license after all

Dylan Bushell-Embling
19 Oct 2011

The Indian government has backtracked on an earlier decision to deny Qualcomm the operating license for the wireless broadband spectrum it paid around $1 billion for.

Qualcomm will now receive an ISP license for the spectrum - which it intends to use for TD-LTE - through a single nominee subsidiary, Telegraph Indiareported.

The Department of Telecom has asked the chipmaker to accept the terms and submit a bank guarantee in order to finalize the deal.

Qualcomm paid 49.13 billion rupees ($995.9 million) for 20MHz of spectrum in four of India's 22 telecom circles during last year's BWA auction, and plans to use the frequencies to help facilitate TD-LTE deployment.

But in September, the department rejected Qualcomm's applications for associated ISP licenses - lodged through four nominee entities with local partners - claiming that the submission was late and violated the condition that only one entity can apply for the license.

Qualcomm, which denies it was late, appealed. By the tail-end of the month it had succeeded in convincing the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal to order the ministry not to reallocate the spectrum or to forfeit the spectrum auction payment until a full appeal could be heard.

The company simultaneously offered to merge its four nominees into a single entity. The new government proposal will ensure this.

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