Qualcomm wants to sell its Indian Spectrum holdings

Qualcomm is reportedly trying to sell its Indian 2.3 GHz spectrum holdings, less than five months after it won the licences in an auction.

The company is trying to sell the spectrum in either a single block or separately to companies. It reportedly wants at least $1.099 billion (INR 50 billion) for the licences in Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana and Kerala.

According to reports in the Economic Times, Qualcomm has approached major mobile operators in India, offering a 100 percent stake in all four spectrum holding companies. Sources told the paper that it’s so keen to get rid of the spectrum because it never wanted to become an operator but bought the spectrum to jump-start demand for its LTE chips.

It has said that it is  making a transparent offer to all potential buyers, as all of them would also be its potential clients for buying its LTE technology.

Although it’s approached big operators including Vodafone and Essar, reports in the Economic Times say it’s India’s Bharti Airtel and Aircel Cellular which are interested in buying the spectrum.

Bharti Airtel, is primarily interested in Qualcomm’s airwaves and permits for Delhi, as it will complement the 3G frequencies it won in the circle earlier this year. Aircel, has also shown interest in the Mumbai and Kerala circles.

However they may have a fight on their hands with reports that Tata Communications and Anil Ambani-promoted Reliance Communications , both of which lost out in the auctions earlier this year, may also be interested, especially since Qualcomm has broadband frequencies in Delhi and Mumbai. Both companies withdrew from the original spectrum auctions saying the bids were in excess of what they were willing to pay.