Report: Qualcomm may sell TD-LTE Indian venture

Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) is considering selling its TD-LTE wireless broadband venture in India for a minimum of around $1.1 billion, according to a report in the Economic Times.

The Indian newspaper, citing unnamed sources familiar with the negotiations, said that the chip maker has talked with leading Indian operators about buying the company's spectrum licenses. Qualcomm paid $1 billion for the 2.3 GHz band licenses in India's  BWA spectrum auction earlier this year.

According to the report, Qualcomm wants to include restrictions in the deal which would require the purchaser of the licenses to deploy TD-LTE technology. Qualcomm purchased multiple spectrum blocks in India, covering Mumbai, New Delhi, Haryana and Kerala. 

In July, Qualcomm said Global Holding Corp. and Tulip Telecom each purchased a 13 percent stake in the venture for $28.9 million. The U.S. chip maker retained 74 percent of the venture by investing $164.3 million, the companies said.

Qualcomm representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment. However, a Qualcomm spokesperson told the Economic Times that Qualcomm has publicly stated that it will work with 3G operators to develop the 3G+LTE ecosystem in India, commercially deploy TD-LTE and then exit the venture. 

"Consistent with those goals, discussions with operators on LTE TDD commercialization and on commercials related to Qualcomm's BWA spectrum are indeed ongoing," the spokesperson said. "These discussions are, however, confidential and Qualcomm cannot comment on speculation regarding specifics."

For more:
- see this Economic Times article
- see this Reuters article

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