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Qualcomm may finally get Wireless Broadband Services licence in India

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The government said it is ready to accept US-based chipmaker Qualcomm’s offer to clear Rs 410-crore dues of its Indian partner Tulip Telecom. Clearance of Tulip’s dues will make the Qualcomm eligible for getting a wireless broadband services licence.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) has informed the telecom tribunal TDSAT today that it was ready to accept the offer of Qualcomm to clear Rs. 410 crore dues of its Indian partner Tulip Telecom. This could clear the way for Qualcomm to finally get the licence for Wireless Broadband Services.

TDSAT has asked Qualcomm to deposit the money to DoT, which would issue licence to the US-based firm within a week. However, regarding spectrum, the tribunal did not assure anything to Qualcomm and said the DoT would not “adopt any adversarial approach” while deciding on grant of spectrum.

Justice S B Sinha, the Chairman of TDSAT bench has further asked DoT to dispose the application of Qualcomm for BWA spectrum expeditiously. Qualcomm has moved an application before the TDSAT to provide bank guarantee of the disputed amount claimed by the DoT from its partner. Tulip holds a 13 per cent stake in the consortium which had bid for BWA spectrum along with Qualcomm. In December, DoT had issued a show cause notice to Tulip claiming dues for 2006-11.

Meanwhile, on apprehensions of Qualcomm that DoT may delay the allocation of BWA spectrum, TDSAT said that it should apply in accordance with the terms of the notice inviting applications. TDSAT said it hopes and trusts that the government will not adopt “any adversarial approach”.

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