TDSAT stays DoT ruling on Qualcomm’s BWA licence

29 Sep 2011

India’s Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has stayed a decision by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) which rejected US-based chipmaker Qualcomm’s application for a permit to offer broadband services. According to India’s Economic Times, Qualcomm approached the TDSAT after learning that the regulator would not award it a licence; as previously reported by CommsUpdate, last week the department rejected its application for a Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) licence amid bid concerns, with the regulator claiming that Qualcomm’s local subsidiary companies which applied for concessions were not introduced within the 90-day period after the auction, as stipulated by the licence terms. Further, the DoT had also reportedly taken the view that it could not issue four different licences to Qualcomm for each of the circles in which it won spectrum; the US company won BWA frequencies in Mumbai, Delhi, Kerala and Haryana, and then floated four separate companies before approaching the regulator for different concessions in each circle. On a more positive note for Qualcomm, it is understood that the tribunal’s chairman, Justice SB Sinha, passed an interim order that prevents the DoT from forfeiting Qualcomm’s bid amount and giving that BWA spectrum assigned to the company to any other party until further notice. The TDSAT has meanwhile asked the DoT to submit a reply to Qualcomm’s petition within two weeks, with the next hearing on the matter now scheduled for 20 October.

India, Qualcomm (India)