Qualcomm to sell 26% in Indian arm to two local cos for Rs 306 cr
US-based chipmaker Qualcomm will sell 26% in its Indian unit to two Indian entities — Global
Holdings and Tulip Telecom — for Rs 306 crore, an executive familiar with the development said.
Global Holdings, owners of telecom infrastructure firm GTL Infra, and Tulip Telecom, Delhi-based communication products and services firm, will pick up 13% stake each in the new company that is being set up by Qualcomm to offer wireless broadband services in India.
The remaining 74% will be owned by the US-based company.
Both the broadband partners will invest over Rs 150 crore each in the new venture. The company will announce the deal on Friday.
Qualcomm had earlier announced that it would offload 26% stake in its local arm to Indian
companies. Existing norms don’t allow foreign entities to hold more than 74% in a communications firm. The government had, however, allowed Qualcomm to bid in the broadband wireless auctions as a 100% foreign entity subject to it selling a minimum of 26% stake in its Indian arm to a local partner before commencing services. Qualcomm was one of the 11 bidders participating in the Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) auction and spent $1 billion to bag airwaves in four of the 22 circles, including Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana and Kerala. The company has said that it will promote Long Term Evolution (LTE)
technology in India on BWA spectrum.
Qualcomm’s India and South Asia president, Kanwalinder Singh did not divulge any detail on their BWA partners, but said it will be announced shortly. Mr Singh was present at an event to announce Chinese equipment maker Huawei’s entry in the open market handset space, based on Qualcomm’s chipsets.
Huawei launched 20 new models on 3G and Android platform with prices starting at Rs 2,000. The handsets will be available in the market by August. So far, Huawei had been selling handsets bundled with services offered by telecom operators like Tata Teleservices, Reliance Communications and BSNL. The Chinese company said it plans to launch sub-Rs 8,000 smartphones by Diwali.