After a long struggle, Qualcomm has finally got BWA spectrum license approval to roll out its 4G services in India. In June 2010, Qualcomm succeeded to get licenses from BWA Auction for four circles in India, but a year ahead in September, DoT rejected the company’s application. There was only one option remained for the company and it decided to move out to the “Telecom Dispute Settlement & Appellate Tribunal” (TDSAT) in October 2011, however, DOT agreed to give one ISP license to the US telecom giant but on some conditions.
The struggle of Qualcomm did not yet accomplish, however, the company was concordant to pay all dispute dues to its partners in India. Later in February this year, TDSAT asked to DoT to issue licence within a week to Qualcomm if the company would pay dues of its Indian partner. And finally, DoT has issued a letter of allotment of BWA spectrum to the US telecom giant after reducing the spectrum validity from 20 years to 18.5 years, reduced by 18 months. In addition to this, the DoT has also made the roll-out allocation tougher for the US telecom giant by reducing it from five years to three and a half year.
The US telecom giant will have BWA spectrum license ( for INR 4,900 crore in 2010) in four circles such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kerala and Haryana. However, the decision came somewhat earlier March of this year, but it was delayed due to a linger regulatory maneuver between TDSAT and DoT for the payment of Qualcomm’s Indian partner. It’s well-known that Tulip Telecom as well as GTL together hold 26 per cent stake in the BWA company.
In a letter, Dot said to Qualcommm that the BWA spectrum would be valid till November 7, 2030 from the effective date of issuance of spectrum, the date of letter issue. The regulator has also mentioned in its letter that the US telecom giant would have to ensure at least 50% of rural area covered up to October 11, 2015, besides, the company would not start its commercial operations prior to operating license grant. In addition to these, the telecom regulator has also rigorously said that if the US telecom giant infringes any roll out obligation then its spectrum licenses will be withdrawn.
However, the DoT advocating about the license tenure of Reliance Infotel, which has pan-India BWA spectrum, should be extended to 22 years. The regulatory authority has said that Reliance Infotel’s wants to adopt Long Term Evolution (LTE) for its 4G networks, which is expected to take more time, in order to provide cheaper data plans to folks across the country.
via: Business Standard