Qualcomm has won provisional spectrum in four regions in India following an auction.Unpaired spectrum in the 2.3 GHz band in Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana and Kerala is more or less now in the ownership of the company, pending approval of the Indian government. The US company says it now plans to roll out a Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network, complementing existing 3G HSPA and EV-DO mobile phone networks in the regions.
Qualcomm will soon announce Indian partners for the roll-out, in compliance with India's Foreign Direct Investment regulations. Apparently Qualcomm's goal is to cooperate with one or more operators already using either HSPA or EV-DO in a joint venture to build an LTE network. It would leave the venture as soon as the network has been implemented. The 20 MHz spectrum slot will cost Qualcomm US$1,04 billion, no amount was mentioned concerning the planned network venture.
"Our bidding objective was to secure an enabling role in the continued success of Indian operators with 3G and beyond, and we are extremely gratified we met that objective. With its ecosystem partners, Qualcomm will now foster the deployment of LTE, so Indian consumers can enjoy the benefits of 3G now and 3G plus LTE in the future", stated Kanwalinder Singh, president of Qualcomm India and South Asia.
Qualcomm's plans can be seen as another nail in WiMax's coffin. Analysts at WiseHarbor recently predicted LTE will rule the world by 2020 and replicate the success of GSM and CDMA, whereas WiMax is set to go the path of dinosaurs. Simply put, LTE is the 4G mobile phone standard and successor of UMTS and WCDMA, not WiMax, despite companies involved with WiMax trying to pitch it as 4G.