Qualcomm may get broadband wireless spectrum in India this month

Qualcomm had won spectrum for high speed data services in four circles—Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana and Kerala—through the auction done by DoT by paying Rs4,912.54 crore

US-based chip-maker Qualcomm may receive broadband wireless access (BWA) spectrum this month, a senior telecom official indicated.

"Very shortly, the final decision will get communicated to them (Qualcomm). There is just a process that has to be followed internally. I think anytime now, it should be completed," department of telecom secretary R Chandrashekhar said.

Asked if it would be given this month, he said, "I would expect so."

Qualcomm had won spectrum for high speed data services in four circles—Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana and Kerala—through the auction done by DoT in June 2010, and paid Rs4,912.54 crore.

However, it is yet to receive the spectrum as the company was locked in a dispute with DoT after the department in September 2011 rejected its application for an Internet service provider (ISP) licence due to late submission. DoT further said Qualcomm's application sought four licences in the name of different entities. Qualcomm later approached telecom tribunal TDSAT which ordered in the company's favour.

Qualcomm India president and South Asia senior vice-president Avneesh Agrawal said: “We have the licence but the spectrum is yet to be allocated. We are eagerly waiting for the spectrum.”

Post the auction, Qualcomm in 2010 had formed a 74:26 joint venture company with Tulip Telecom and Global Holdings for providing services in India. The company had sold 26% stake in the broadband unit to Tulip Telecom and Global Holdings for $57.72 million.

Qualcomm plans to exit the venture after creating a long-term evolution, or LTE, network to roll out broadband wireless access services. LTE is a technology that offers high-speed broadband and high-end multimedia services.

"We are in talks with telecom operators...we never wanted to be an operator. We participated in BWA auction to ensure that TD-LTE technology gets place in India. Now with recent roll out from Bharti Airtel, we have seen TD-LTE being adopted," he said.

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CII asks PM to fast-track economic reforms

CII's new president Adi Godrej said it will work closely with central government, state government and opposition to form a consensus on reforms, including allowing FDI in multi-brand retail

New Delhi: The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to fast track economic reforms, which in turn would boost investments and accelerate growth, reports PTI.

Speaking at a press conference, Adi Godrej, the new president of CII, said, ""We met the Prime Minister yesterday and discussed with him about taking the reforms process forward. This will help in improving perception about India''s image, attract more investments and revive the growth".

He, however, did not mention about the Prime Minister''s response in this regard. The chamber's main agenda is to restore growth, which could be done through reforms and better governance practices, he said.

"Both these areas will be concentrated upon. We will work closely with central government, state government and opposition to form a consensus on reforms, including allowing FDI in multi-brand retail," Mr Godrej said.

In November last year, the Cabinet had approved allowing 51% FDI in multi-brand retail. But the government had to put its decision on hold following protests from political parties mainly Trinamool Congress and DMK.

On the economic growth, Mr Godrej said with GDP growth at 6.9% in 2011-12 vis-a-vis 8.4% in the previous two years, the Indian economy is currently in the midst of a slowdown.

"Given the current status of the economy, we have ahead of us the Herculean task of reviving economic growth to the pre-crisis (economic slowdown of 2008) level of over 9%. This needs structural reforms both at the central as well as the state level," he said.

The government expects the growth rate to rise to 7.6% during 2012-13 from the 6.9% in the previous fiscal.

Mr Godrej said to revive investment sentiment, the RBI needs to cut the interest rates by 100 basis points by December, 2012.

After a gap of three years, the Reserve Bank slashed the short-term lending rate (repo) by 0.50% to 8%.

RBI had raised lending rates 13 times between March, 2010 and October, 2011 to contain inflation that had been hovering near double-digit. This had led to clamour by industry to cut rates and spur industrial and economic growth that has slowed down considerably during the past few quarters.

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Ajay Devgan invests in Gujarat-based solar power plant

The Bollywood actor is keen to introduce the concept in filmmaking, where solar powered generators can be used for electricity on sets, thus saving power

Mumbai: Showing his support for environment-friendly causes, Bollywood actor Ajay Devgn has invested in a state-of-the-art solar park in Gujarat, reports PTI.
The solar park located in Charanaka, Patan District in Gujarat is a joint venture between a corporate company, Ajay and producer Kumar Mangat of 'Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji', fame.

The project started operating in December last year. The plant is unique in its way and has been built using the most advanced technologies.  
"The thought behind our entry is that we believe that solar power is the future of industry. We are aiming to reach 500 mw within three-five years with a total investment of Rs5,000 crore," Mr Devgan said.
Reportedly, the 43-year-old actor is keen to introduce the concept in filmmaking, where solar powered generators can be used for electricity on sets, thus saving power.
Presently, he is shooting for 'Son of Sardar' and his next release is Priyadarshan's action-thriller film, 'Tezz'.

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