The Telecom Ministry is believed to have finally allotted spectrum to U.S.-based Qualcomm for offering wireless broadband services, two years after it won the radio waves through auction.
“Orders have been issued,” sources at the Department of Telecommunications said in response to the status of spectrum allocation to the company, which has been pending since long.
Company sources also confirmed receiving spectrum assignment letter.
A senior DoT official, however, said Qualcomm would have the right to use this spectrum for 18.6 years only.
As per the Notice Inviting Application, companies will have right to use BWA (broadband wireless access) spectrum for 20 years from the date of awarding spectrum block for commercial use.
“The period has been reduced by 18 months due to delays on their part,” the official said. The company had won spectrum for high-speed data services in four circles — Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana and Kerala — through auction in June, 2010, and paid Rs.4,912.54 crore (about $1 billion) for the same.
However, its spectrum was put on hold as the company was locked in a dispute with DoT after the department in September, 2011, rejected its application for Internet Service Provider (ISP) licence due to late submission.
DoT had said the Qualcomm's application sought four licences in the name of different entities.
Qualcomm later approached telecom tribunal TDSAT, which ordered DoT to give licence and allocate spectrum to the company. PTI