Qualcomm may lose India TD-LTE spectrum

Dylan Bushell-Embling
14 Sep 2011

Qualcomm faces having its application for a BWA spectrum license in India rejected, with the telecom ministry claiming the company was late submitting the paperwork.

Qualcomm shelled out a hefty 49.13 billion rupees ($1.03 billion) for 20-MHz of BWA spectrum in an auction held last year. The company had announced plans to use the market to facilitate TD-LTE deployment.

But the Department of Telecom claims that the chipmaker did not apply for the licenses until well after the deadline, set for three months after the auction, Economic Timesreported. As a result, the department has deemed the application invalid.

If a final decision is made to reject the application, Qualcomm may have to forfeit the money it paid in the spectrum auction.

Qualcomm has denied the claims, stating that it had applied for the spectrum permits well within the window and that its Indian investment had been one of its largest to date outside of the US.

A DoT official toldLiveMint that Qualcomm had originally made applications in August last year, through four different companies set up in India, but did not indicate that these were its nominees. The company then clarified in December. The department seems to consider this the date of its application.

The terms of the auction had also allegedly stipulated that only one company could be nominated for acquiring a license.

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