Indian publication Business Standard said that Qualcomm had paid INR4.1 billion (US$82 million) to the country’s Department of Telecommunications, in order to secure a licence to launch its long-delayed broadband operation in the country.
Apparently, the fees were paid last week, on the direction of TDSAT (Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal). The DoT has been asked to “expeditiously” allot the spectrum and necessary licences for a service launch.
According to a Wall Street Journal report last month, the fees were owed by Tulip Telecom, one of Qualcomm’s partners in the venture. It said that these were related to other licences, but as long as they remained outstanding, the broadband operation was hamstrung.
Qualcomm has encountered a number of hurdles on the path to launching its mobile broadband services in the country, which are intended to promote TD-LTE technology over rival WiMAX. It has already stated that once up and running, its intention is to sell-off the business.
The company’s investment in the country looked to be in jeopardy late last year, after a deadline provided by the regulators was missed – believed to be the result of Qualcomm receiving a request for further information which delayed its application.
In addition, Qualcomm fell foul of the authorities by applying for licences using a number of subsidiary ventures, rather than a single business as was required.