Qualcomm seeks sale of India spectrum
Qualcomm is reportedly aiming to sell its Indian BWA spectrum already – but only if the buyers agree to use it for TD-LTE.
Bharti Airtel, India’s biggest cellco, and rival Aircel have emerged as possible buyers.
Qualcomm - which paid 49.13 billion rupees (€798 million) for wireless frequencies in four Indian circles in June - has approached several mobile operators looking for buyers, industry sources told the Economic Times.
The company is seeking at least 50 billion rupees for the sale of the holding companies that own the spectrum, but will require any buyer to promise that the spectrum will be used for TD-LTE.
When announcing its intention to bid in India's BWA auction in March, Qualcomm made clear that it was only purchasing the spectrum in order to deploy TD-LTE.
The firm hopes to establish the standard in India as a rival to Wimax, which is being heavily promoted.
Publicly, Qualcomm has confirmed it is in discussions over the sale of its spectrum but said the details were confidential.
But ET's sources claim that Bharti Airtel and Aircel have both expressed an interest in acquiring the spectrum licenses, and have been meeting with Qualcomm over the terms of a sale.
Analysts claim that deals would make sense, considering the existing spectrum both carriers hold.
Qualcomm plans to either sell the spectrum in all four areas as a single block, or split them in half with the Mumbai and Kerala circles as one lot, and the Delhi and Haryana circles as a second.
Bharti is considering acquiring the Delhi-Haryana block, while Aircel has shown an interest in Mumbai and Kerala, the sources said.