Qualcomm Updates on India Exit Plan

Ray Le Maistre
AsiaBlog
Ray Le Maistre, International Group Editor
11/10/2010



4:45 AM -- Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) could exit its Indian broadband wireless access (BWA) operation by as soon as the second half of 2011, by which time it expects its network to be ready to launch, according to a Business Line report that cites the wireless chip vendor's CEO, Paul Jacobs.

Qualcomm, which participated in the BWA spectrum auction earlier this year with the intention of introducing TD-LTE technology into India, has already held talks with some of India's major mobile operators about offloading its assets (BWA licenses in four circles), and has sold a 26 percent stake in its BWA venture to two local partners, Global Holding Corp. and Tulip Telecom Ltd. (See Will Qualcomm Sell Its BWA Spectrum in India? , Qualcomm Names India LTE Investors , India's BWA Auction Ends in $8.2B Drama, Qualcomm Wins India Spectrum, and Qualcomm Unveils LTE Plans for India.)

Qualcomm has said all along it would help set up broadband wireless networks in India but not be involved in their commercial operations, so it has been looking for willing buyers for some time. But the chip giant is making it clear there are certain conditions attached to the sale of its BWA licenses.

In the interview with Business Line, Jacobs stressed that Qualcomm will only sell to companies that commit to the deployment and operation of TD-LTE networks, claiming that WiMax, the alternative network technology that could be used with the 2.3GHz spectrum that Qualcomm currently holds, "doesn't work well." (See India's Billion-Dollar LTE Question and BWA Auction Is Bad News for WiMax's Future .)

Obviously, there are those who would disagree with Jacobs… (See India's Still Hot for WiMax, Says Forum and CommunicAsia 2010: Intel Still Bullish on WiMax.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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