Notorious for playing in markets to push its favored technology, Qualcomm announced it will bid in India's upcoming wireless broadband spectrum auction. This time it is looking to promote the TDD (time division duplex) version of LTE, known as TD-LTE, to world's fastest growing mobile market.
Qualcomm is aiming to get its hands on licenses for spectrum in the 2.3 GHz band, which is supposed to be a coup for WiMAX--a TDD technology. The Indian government has set April 9 as the auction date for 3G spectrum and April 11 as the date for the BWA auction, when it will sell spectrum licenses for LTE and WiMAX services. The government plans to auction two 20 MHz unpaired blocks of spectrum in each of the country's 22 service areas. Qualcomm plans to bid for one of the slots. The base price for a pan-India spectrum slot is set at $386 million.
Under auction rules, Qualcomm must partner with an Indian operator in a joint venture. The Indian market, with its vast population and low penetration, could drive economies of scale for TD-LTE. China Mobile has been keen on deploying TD-LTE, but Motorola has said operators around the world, including Europe, are taking a look at using TDD spectrum for LTE in conjunction with the FDD version to handle the demand for mobile data services.
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