US chipmaker Qualcomm Inc’s application for internet service provider (ISP) licence, after it won broadband wireless access (BWA) spectrum in June last year, has been rejected by telecom ministry of India.
Reacting to the news, a spokesperson of the company said, “We received a notice from the Indian Department of Telecommunications on September 21, 2011 informing us that the license to the companies formed with our Indian partners, for use of the spectrum, which Qualcomm won at last year’s BWA auction, has been rejected on grounds that we find to be baseless. In fact, the application process was fully complied with, and we will continue to work with the Indian authorities to resolve this matter.”
This move is bound to effect Indian consumers who will lose out on affordable and faster wireless internet services.
“Multiple trials were conducted along with our partners and have been extremely successful. Any further delay in award of licence will deprive the Indian consumers in realising these benefits, thereby severely impacting India’s broadband plans,” the company said to DNA.
4G BWA (broadband wireless access) spectrum was auctioned soon after the 3G auctions last year. While Reliance bagged spectrum in all 22 circles, Airtel got licences for four circles, Aircel for eight, Tikona in five circles, and Qualcomm also bagged spectrum in four circles. BSNL and MTNL had got spectrum even before the auction but have so far launched WiMax in very few locations.
Both LTE and WiMax, called 4G or BWA technology, offer very high speed wireless broadband access at theoretical speeds greater than 100 Mbps; while users can access real speeds of 10 Mbps on these networks. What is also good is the fact that LTE is backward compatible with both GSM and CDMA networks.