Qualcomm to sell 26% to 2 Indian cos for Rs 300 cr

Written by Agencies | Mumbai | Updated: Jul 31 2010, 04:43am hrs
The Indian broadband unit of cellphone chip maker Qualcomm plans to sell 26% stake to two Indian companies for about Rs 300 crore ($64 million), a source said.

Global Holdings, which owns telecom infrastructure firms GTL and GTL Infra and communications services provider Tulip Telecom, will buy 13% each in the newly formed Qualcomms local unit, the sources added.

Qualcomm will announce local partners for selling stake in its India broadband unit on Friday, Kanwalinder Singh, president for Qualcomms Indian and South Asian operations, said on Thursday.

Qualcomm recently formed the India unit after its $1-billion purchase of wireless airwaves. The company is hoping that ownership of the airwaves in India will boost sales of advanced cell phones and the chips that power them.

The US company has to form a joint venture with a local company with a minimum 26% as per the existing laws to be able to offer broadband services.

While GTL could not be reached for comments, Tulip spokesperson declined to comment saying, As a company policy we do not comment on any such speculation.

The company had received spectrum in four telecom circles in the auctions, which completed in June this year. Qualcomm had recently formed its India unit after its $ 1-billion purchase of BWA spectrum.

The company is now looking at offering high-speed Internet services to boost sales of smartphones and the chips that power them.

Qualcomm sells chips used in cellphones and is a pioneer in CDMA technology. India is the worlds fastest growing mobile market, with more than 600 million mobile phone users. Shares of GTL Infra closed 2.34% lower at Rs 45.95 per piece and Tulip Telecom fell 1.88% to Rs 184.95 a share on the BSE.