Qualcomm has written a $1-billion cheque to buy wireless airwaves in India.
It is a jolly odd investment given that the outfit makes chips for wireless devices rather than the gear or the services itself. However Qualcomm insists that ownership of the airwaves can set off a chain reaction that will boost sales of advanced cell phones and the chips that power them.
According to the company buying wireless airwaves means that Qualcomm can build a faster network to entice consumers to use advanced mobile Web services. It thinks that will increase sales of high-end phones.
While India is a potentially huge market, it has been slow to provide airwaves for advanced networks. Qualcomm plans to name one or more partners to build a wireless network in the four major cities covered by the spectrum licenses.