Even as the government hopes to raise around $9 billion from the 3G and BWA auctions, foreign telcos waiting in the wings are eager to unfurl a new technology —TDLTE —which is akin to 4G technology. US-based Qualcomm and Sweden’s Ericsson aim to piggyback on TD-LTE, hoping that it will help them gain a toe-hold in India, the world’s fastest growing mobile market. Qualcomm is to participate in the broadband wireless access (BWA) spectrum auction. If it does secure its bid in the auction, India could well become the first country after China to roll out TD-LTE. TD-LTE, or Time Division Long Term Evolution, caters to peak download speeds of 100 Mbps on mobile phones, compared to the 20 Mbps for 3G and 40 Mbps for Wimax. LTE brings to the table additional spectrum, more capacity, lower cost, and is essential to take mobile broadband to the mass market. The government has slotted the sale of two 2.3 GHz blocks of spectrum on April 11, providing 20 MHz spectrum in each of the country’s 22 telecom circles. The base price has been set at $ 385 million. However, Qualcomm will need an Indian partner for its TDLTE foray in the country since foreign direct investment is limited to 74%. The US telco aims to use the 2.3 GHz spectrum band offered for TD-LTE-based BWA services. Sources in the know said that the company would bid aggressively to corner one of the two BWA slots up for sale. There are 11 bidders for the BWA auction.