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Jul 16, 2012, 05.36 PM IST
Telecom tribunal TDSAT today granted 10 days more to the government to file a reply on the plea of US-based chip-maker Qualcomm against DoT's reducing the validity of wireless broadband spectrum alloted to it, as well as the time to roll out the services.
The Department of Telecom (DoT) sought some more time to file its reply, which was opposed by Qualcomm.
A TDSAT bench, headed by its Chairman Justice S B Sinha, however accepted the DoT request and granted it 10 days' time.
The tribunal also gave one week time to Qualcomm to file rejoinder over DoT's reply and directed to list the matter on August 3 for next hearing.
DoT had reduced the validity of Qualcomm's Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) spectrum to 18 years and six months, from 20 years.
Besides, Qualcomm's roll-out obligation period was also reduced from five years to three-and-a-half years, which has been challenged by the chipmaker before the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal.
On June 1, while issuing notice to DoT, TDSAT had directed it to file reply within four weeks. It had also granted two weeks time to Qualcomm for its rejoinder. However, at today's hearing, DoT could not file the reply and sought more time.
Qualcomm had won the BWA spectrum in four circles - Delhi, Mumbai, Kerala and Haryana - for Rs 4,900 crore through bidding in 2010.
As per the Notice Inviting Application, companies had right to use BWA spectrum for a period of 20 years from the date of awarding spectrum block.
Qualcomm got the spectrum after a spat with DoT before TDSAT. In September 2011, DoT rejected its application for Internet Service Provider (ISP) licence due to late submission and other technical reasons.
DoT had objected to Qualcomm's application which had sought four licences in the name of different entities. TDSAT ordered DoT to give the licence and allocate spectrum to the company after it cleared Rs 410 crore dues of its Indian partner Tulip Telecom.
On May 24, Bharti Airtel had announced a Rs 922 crore (USD 165 million) deal with Qualcomm Asia Pacific to acquire 49% stake in Qualcomm Asia Pacific's Indian BWA entities.
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