Qualcomm to bid in India's spectrum auction

Qualcomm said it will bid in India's wireless broadband spectrum auction in an attempt to promote the TD-LTE standard in the world's second most populous country. The chip maker, which is the first foreign company to participate in the so-called broadband wireless access (BWA) auction, is hoping to secure licenses for spectrum in the 2.3 GHz band.

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.

Qualcomm intends to partner with an Indian wireless operator in a joint venture if it secures the winning bid, as per regulations in India. if the company does succeed, it could help spur development of a TD-LTE device ecosystem. Currently, the technology has only been adopted by China Mobile. Much of the focus on the BWA auction has thus far been placed on WiMAX.

"Qualcomm and its partners will decide the venture's strategy in due course. Qualcomm's goal is to attract an operator partner or partners into the venture at the appropriate time for construction of a TD-LTE network in compliance with the Indian Government's rollout requirement for the BWA spectrum and then to exit the venture," the company said in a statement.

For more:
- see this release
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this IDG News Serice article

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