Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Qualcomm allies with Global Holding and Tulip Telecom in new India LTE venture

MUMBAI, INDIA: Qualcomm Inc., winner of broadband wireless access (BWA) spectrum in four telecom circles in India, announced Global Holding Corp. Pvt Ltd and Tulip Telecom Ltd as initial shareholders for its India LTE venture.

Subject to receipt of government approvals, Qualcomm will have a 74 percent stake in the venture, while Global Holding Corporation and Tulip Telecom will hold 13 percent each, as required by applicable Indian Foreign Direct Investment regulations.

Qualcomm will have the benefit of the proven expertise of its initial shareholders to enable best-in-class mobile broadband for India. Global Holding Corporation is the holding company of the Global Group, which is a market leader in providing network services to India’s mobile operators and owns India’s largest independent and neutral telecom tower infrastructure.

Tulip Telecom is India’s largest enterprise data connectivity service provider and has significant experience in creating and managing large networks across industry verticals, such as telecom, banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI), retail, education, health care and government.

“Our objective was to secure initial shareholders who are operator-neutral, yet bring strong telecom and broadband experience, and we are extremely pleased we met that objective with Global Holding Corporation and Tulip Telecom,” said Kanwalinder Singh, president of Qualcomm India and South Asia and senior vice president of Qualcomm.

“With our initial shareholders, and operators we intend to bring into the venture in the future, Qualcomm will facilitate accelerated deployment of LTE in concert with 3G HSPA and EV-DO networks, which protects and enhances the significant investment made by Indian operators in securing 3G and BWA spectrum.”

“We are delighted to collaborate with Qualcomm, a world leader in wireless technologies, to enhance the broadband penetration in India by making mobile broadband a mainstream phenomenon,” said Manoj Tirodkar, founder of the Global Group. “Global Group brings extensive experience and strategic advantage in the network services and telecom tower infrastructure space.”

“Tulip is extremely pleased to collaborate with a global technology leader like Qualcomm in this venture,” said Lt. Col. (Retd.) H.S. Bedi, chairman and managing director of Tulip Telecom Ltd. “As one of the largest enterprise data service providers in the country, Tulip Telecom considers this as an opportunity to play a significant role in addressing the demand for high-bandwidth mobile broadband services in some of the highest density telecom circles in India.”

In the recently concluded BWA auction, Qualcomm won one slot of 20 MHz TDD spectrum in the 2.3 GHz band covering the key telecom circles of Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana and Kerala.

Qualcomm’s objective is to facilitate the deployment of LTE, which is best suited to address the demand for high bandwidth mobile broadband services in the 2.3 GHz band, and seamlessly interworks with current and upcoming 3G HSPA and EV-DO networks. Qualcomm will continue to play a central role in fostering the LTE ecosystem with a focus on enabling the creation of 3G/LTE multimode devices and services best suited for India.

Qualcomm had previously stated its plan to secure initial Indian shareholders in compliance with applicable Indian Foreign Direct Investment regulations. Having done so, in addition to securing government approvals, the venture will work towards demonstration and commercialization of LTE.

Qualcomm expects to attract one or more experienced 3G HSPA and/or EV-DO operators into the venture for construction of an LTE network in compliance with the Indian government’s roll-out requirements for the BWA spectrum and then to exit the venture. Barclays Capital is acting as exclusive financial advisor to Qualcomm on India LTE venture partner selection process.

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