Nearly two years after the US chipmaker paid USD 1 billion in an auction, India has offered to grant 4G broadband spectrum to Qualcomm Inc. However, the spectrum comes with reduced usage period due to a delay in getting an internet service license.
Mostly India has been granting radio airwaves for a period of 20 years. In Qualcomm’s case, the telecoms ministry cut the validity of the spectrum by 18 months and asked the company to roll out services in 3-1/2 years, compared with the five years given to other 4G winners.
The telecoms ministry, which initially rejected Qualcomm’s application for an internet service license needed to use 4G spectrum, agreed to grant the permit in October.
In a statement, Qualcomm said that it was not responsible for the delay in getting the internet license, adding the delay was caused by the ministry’s objection to its application. “We are studying the DoT’s decision and will consider any and all options.”
The Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Industries is the only company to have 4G spectrum in all the telecoms zones. Qualcomm had won 4G spectrum for four of India’s 22 telecoms zones in 2010 auction.