So the first hat, it seems, is in the ring.
Qualcomm has announced that they’ve filed an application to bid in India’s upcoming 3G and Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) auction, specifically seeking to acquire spectrum in the 2.3 GHz band. India is expected to auction 3G spectrum on the 9th of April 2010, and the BWA auction is expected to begin two days after the 3G auction ends. What’s most interesting about this bid, though, is what Qualcomm intends to do if it is able to acquire spectrum:
The telecom infrastructure giant plans to attract Indian (telecom operator) partners after completion of the auction, form a venture in line with India’s Foreign Direct Investment regulations, deploy infrastructure, and then exit “in due course” once the service is rolled out. It is not Qualcomm’s intent to get into the telecom operator business, and this announcement appears to be as much a statement of intent, as a call out to potential partners. Qualcomm’s plan is essentially to speed up the deployment of TD-LTE infrastructure, a technology compatible with 3G WCDMA/HSDPA and EVDO.
— Update: India’s 3G Auction: Expect Three Operators; Launch Only After September
— India’s 3G Auction On 9th April 2010; Here We Go Again
— Editorial: How Telecom Operators In India Should Approach 3G