Qualcomm gets 4G spectrum in India

NEW DELHI Tue May 8, 2012 12:43pm EDT

A Qualcomm sign is seen at one of Qualcomm's numerous buildings located on its San Diego Campus February 7, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Blake

A Qualcomm sign is seen at one of Qualcomm's numerous buildings located on its San Diego Campus February 7, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Mike Blake

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India offered to grant 4G broadband spectrum to Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O) on Tuesday, nearly two years after the U.S. chipmaker paid $1 billion in an auction, but cut its spectrum usage period due to a delay in getting an internet service license.

India typically grants radio airwaves for a period of 20 years. In Qualcomm's case, the telecoms ministry cut the validity of the spectrum by 18 months and asked the company to roll out services in 3-1/2 years, compared with the five years given to other 4G winners, a source with direct knowledge said.

The telecoms ministry, which initially rejected Qualcomm's application for an internet service license needed to use 4G spectrum, agreed to grant the permit in October.

Qualcomm said in a statement it was not responsible for the delay in getting the internet license, adding the delay was caused by the ministry's objection to its application. "We are studying the DoT's decision and will consider any and all options."

Qualcomm had won 4G spectrum for four of India's 22 telecoms zones in 2010 auction. Reliance Industries (RELI.NS), controlled by India's richest man Mukesh Ambani, is the only company to have 4G spectrum in all the telecoms zones.

(Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy)

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