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Qualcomm has won the 4G broadband spectrum in India on Tuesday. In 2010, the US based chipmaker paid $1 billion in an auction to get the 4G spectrum. But there was a delay in getting the internet service license which made the country cut the spectrum usage period.
India offers radio airwaves for a period of 20 years. In the case of Qualcomm, the telecom ministry cut the validity of the spectrum by about 18 months. The ministry has asked Qualcomm to roll out the services in 3.5 years. But the other 4G winners have been granted five years of validity, claims a source with direct knowledge.
The Indian telecom ministry initially rejected the application of Qualcomm regarding the internet service license that is required to use the 4G spectrum. But the ministry accepted the application and granted the permit in October 2011.
Qualcomm has stated that it was in no way responsible for the delay in acquiring the internet service license. It added that the delay was due to ministry's objection to its application asking for the license.
The company has won the 4G spectrum in four of the telecom zones in the 2010 auction. It is to be noted that there are 22 telecom zones in India. Reliance Industries is the only one to have acquired the 4G spectrum in all the 22 telecom zones.