Govt not to intervene in Qualcomm selling BWA biz
The government today said it will not intervene in US-based Qualcomm's plans to sell their recently acquired BWA spectrum to telcos, unless it infringes any rule.business Updated: Oct 31, 2010 11:56 IST
The government today said it will not intervene in US-based Qualcomm's plans to sell their recently acquired BWA spectrum to telcos, unless it infringes any rule.
Asked whether the telecom department will look into the matter, DoT Secretary R Chandrasekhar on the sidelines of PanIIT event said, "No, not unless there is any infringement. We will not look into the matter, unless any infringement is brought to our notice."
There are reports that US chipmaker Qualcomm, which has bagged BWA spectrum in four circles, was planning to monetise the spectrum and sell it to telecom service providers.
Unlike in the telecom sector, there is no lock-in period for BWA licencees and they can sell their business at any time after acquiring licences.
Qualcomm had formed its India unit after its purchase of BWA spectrum in Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana and Kerala for Rs 4,912.54 crore.
The US giant, however, faces opposition from the forum promoting rival technology called Wimax for mobile broadband.
The Wimax forum claimed that Qualcomm used the auction process and the licence it has bagged as a tool to promote its own technology --TD LTE.
The TD-LTE (time division-long term evolution) which is equivalent to the 4G technology faces competition from WiMAX, or Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access.
"We will take this issue up with the government and telecom department ... Qualcomm's move is going delay the deployment of mobile broadband in the country," Declan Byrne, Director, Marketing, WiMAX Forum said.
WiMAX has already established itself in the 2.3GHz, 2.5GHz, and 3.5GHz bandwidth deployments in every region. WiMAX is here now. Conversely, LTE currently has several small deployments and few devices to speak of, he added.
Qualcomm had already sold 13 per cent stake each in broadband unit in India to Tulip Telecom and Global Holdings for about Rs 268 crore.
As per rules, the US company had to induct an Indian partner with at least 26 per cent equity to be able to get telecom licence.
Qualcomm sells chips used in cellphones and is a pioneer in CDMA-based wireless technology.