The Telecom Dispute Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has directed the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to issue broadband licence to the US chipmaker Qualcomm within a week after it deposit Rs 410 crore to the latter.
This came after the government on Friday said it is ready to accept US-based chipmaker Qualcomm's offer to clear the dues of its Indian partner Tulip Telecom so that the company gets a licence for wireless broadband services.
The TDSAT bench, headed by Chairman Jutice S B Sinha, further asked DoT to dispose the application of Qualcomm for BWA spectrum expeditiously.
Qualcomm has moved an application before the TDSAT to provide bank guarantee of the disputed amount claimed by the DoT from its partner.
Earlier, the DoT had rejected Qualcomm's offer to secure the previous Rs 146 crore dues of Tulip through bank guarantees. Counsel appearing for Qualcomm informed the tribunal that the company had no option except to pay the dues of Tulip to get the broadband spectrum.
Rejecting Qualcomm's offer to secure the dues of its partner Tulip Telecom to hasten the process of issuing licence and spectrum for BWA services to the US-based chip-maker, the Department of Telecom (DoT) in its reply to TDSAT had contended that Qualcomm cannot secure the dues of its partner by way of bank guarantee.
The Tribunal adjourned the hearing till 21 February after Qualcomm sought time to take instruction from the client on the matter. DoT however argued that it was a matter of revenue and it can not be secured by bank guarantee.
TDSAT had directed DoT to file a reply over Qualcomm's undertaking and plea.
In January Qualcomm in an undertaking to TDSAT had offered to clear the dues of its partner Tulip Telecom and requested that the telecom ministry be asked to issue licence to it for BWA spectrum.
Tulip is a 13% shareholder in the consortium which had bid for BWA spectrum along with Qualcomm. As per the rules and regulation, operators has to get a no-due certificate from DoT for a new licence.