Threatened with the loss of more than $1 billion it has invested in India’s telecommunications sector, Qualcomm has promised it will challenge the decision of India’s Department of Telecommunications (IDOT) to reject the company’s applications for licenses to provide wireless broadband services to four regions within that nation. Qualcomm, a San Diego-based maker of wireless chipsets and the pioneer of wireless CDMA technology, was the only foreign entity to win spectrum in an auction of wireless broadband licenses that was sponsored by the Indian government last year. In compliance with auction rules, Qualcomm paid $1 billion for the licenses it won in May 2010 and followed that payment with the filing of license applications in August 2010 for four areas—Delhi, Mumbai, Karala, and Haryana—that would be managed by four separate entities incorporated locally by Qualcomm to operate within India. After the three-month application deadline established by the government had passed, the IDOT asked Qualcomm on November 30 to provide proof that the four companies were Qualcomm’s designated nominees for the licenses in question. Although Qualcomm filed a timely response to the iDOT’s inquiry in December, the IDOT later informed Qualcomm that it was rejecting all four applications on grounds that Qualcomm should have applied for a single license. Notwithstanding Qualcomm’s offer to consolidate the four local company applications into a single license request, the IDOT rejected that proposed remedy last week on grounds that Qualcomm had missed the original application deadline. Auction rules enacted by the government state that no refund will be made for license applications that are revoked, denied, surrendered or withdrawn, and analysts say that the IDOT’s actions could erode foreign investor confidence in a vibrant, yet shaky Indian telecom sector. That market has already been roiled in the past year by a multibillion-dollar scandal in connection with a 2G license allocation that culminated in the arrest of India’s former telecommunications minister. Characterizing the IDOT’s decision as “baseless,” Qualcomm vowed to “continue to work with the Indian authorities to resolve this matter.”