Qualcomm, which bagged licences to offer broadband wireless access (BWA) services in four of India’s telecom circles in June 2010, has said that it intends to launch commercial plans in the second half of 2011, according to India’s Economic Times. ‘The devices (the chip) sets and the infrastructure would be ready by June next year, and in the second half, it (BWA service) will be ready for launch commercially,’ the report quoted Qualcomm India and South Asia president Kanwalinder Singh as saying. It is understood that Qualcomm, which paid INR49.13 billion (USD1.1 billion) for concessions covering Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana and Kerala, will offer its services in partnership with one or more other operators.
Meanwhile, following reports last month that the US company was prepared to sell off its Indian wireless broadband subsidiary, seeking a minimum bid of INR50 billion for the concessions, Mr Singh noted: ‘The talks with the operators are ongoing but there is no set time frame to exit the service. It is up to the operators … if some operator wants to [acquire] our stake it will happen quickly. If they want to launch with us having the spectrum that also is ok.’ Previous reports had claimed that Qualcomm had approached a number of the country’s major mobile network operators with a view to selling off 100% stakes in the four spectrum-holding companies, either as altogether or in two separate chunks, with Delhi and Haryana offered as one pair, while Mumbai and Kerala would be offered as a second combination.