Hogan Lovells partner Trey Hanbury enjoyed a lively and frank conversation with Steve Sharkey, Vice President of Government Affairs, Engineering and Technology Policy at T-Mobile as part of the 2020 INCOMPAS Show. The interview covered T-Mobile’s running start on 5G broadband deployment following the company’s merger with Sprint, insight into T-Mobile’s plans for meeting its commitments under the merger agreement, and the outlook for 5G deployment in the US. INCOMPAS has made the entire interview available on video, and we offer a few highlights of the conversation here. T-Mobile is
Communications technologies often evolve more quickly than the regulatory frameworks governing them. To keep pace, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) revisits the ITU’s Radio Regulations governing radiofrequency spectrum use approximately every four years to accommodate new technologies and uses. Between WRCs, national administrations and ITU sector members (interested companies and trade associations, for example) meet in working parties to study how proposed rule revisions would impact existing and planned services. Following four years of careful deliberations at the ITU working party level, more than 3,400 participants
The FCC recently issued a Public Notice that sought comment on whether to make the 960-1164 MHz and 5030-5091 MHz bands available to support unmanned aerial system operations (UAS). The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 required the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), and the FCC to submit a report to Congress on whether to allow UAS communications in these frequencies. The joint agency report must discuss: (1) whether the FCC should permit, but not require, UAS operations in these bands on an unlicensed, shared,
On November 12, members of the Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA) gathered in Washington, DC, to commemorate 25 years of spectrum auctions at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Hosted at Hogan Lovells LLP, the event featured current and former FCC staff members and industry lawyers, who discussed the history and future of spectrum auctions. The FCC’s leadership and strong record of innovation in administering spectrum auctions was a recurrent theme of the program. The Beginning of Spectrum Auctions The first panel focused on the early days of spectrum auctions at
In a Public Notice released October 7, 2019, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the status of the 39 short-form applications for Auction 103, which is scheduled to begin on December 10, 2019. Auction 103 will offer 14,144 licenses covering some 3,400 megahertz of spectrum in the Upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands. The FCC announced 29 complete and 10 incomplete applications for Auction 103. All applicants with complete applications will become qualified bidders upon receipt by the FCC of the required upfront payment by October 22,
The proposed procedures for Auction 105 resemble other competitive bidding processes, but include a few key differences to accommodate shared use of the band, encourage 5G deployments, and increase flexibility for participants.
On May 14, 2019, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai announced plans to open a rule-making to take a “fresh look” at the 5850-5925 megahertz (MHz) (5.9 gigahertz (GHz)) spectrum band. Initial reports suggested that the FCC would take the issue up in June, but the 5.9 GHz rule-making was not included on the tentative agenda for the commission’s June open meeting. Chairman Pai delayed the rule-making at the request of U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. The FCC has not provided a timeline for the rule-making, but we expect
In May 2019, the Commercial Smallsat Spectrum Management Association (CSSMA) hosted two groundbreaking events at the Hogan Lovells Washington DC office. The first was a series of scheduled company-specific, pre-coordination meetings with federal agencies and operators designed to facilitate the shared use of spectrum. The second was a spectrum workshop with the Space Frequency Coordination Group (SFCG). The events are part of CSSMA’s continuing efforts to facilitate discussion, growth, and education in the smallsat industry both in the United States and abroad.
On 18th December we hosted the final instalment in our Internet of Things Webinar series for 2018 (more to come in 2019!). Michele Farquhar, Tim Tobin, Mark Parsons, and Valerie Kenyon provided a round-up of the hot topics from 2018, including key regulatory and legal developments in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, in areas such as connected vehicles, drones, smart phones, medical devices, and many more. They also provided an insightful look into what developments and changes 2019 has in store. Please click here to listen to the webinar recording.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission auctions wireless broadband spectrum to the highest bidders, and the agency’s latest spectrum auction continues to march toward a conclusion.
Auction 101 is the first of several auctions offering high-frequency “millimeter wave” spectrum that the Federal Communications Commission has committed to hold in 2018 and 2019. At the close of bidding in Round 78 Tuesday, total provisionally winning bids surpassed $689 million, although this total has not changed much over the past several days. While bidding has slowed recently, the FCC has said the auction will run through the end of the week, or as long as bidding continues, and then resume in the new year, if necessary.
Every spring, thousands of satellite industry stakeholders descend upon Washington, DC for the industry’s premier satellite conference. This year, the Satellite 2018 conference drew over 14,500+ satellite and space industry stakeholders, including many companies driving innovation and growth in the smallsat sector. In support of the smallsat industry, Hogan Lovells and attorneys Tony Lin and Sarah Leggin hosted a meeting of the Commercial Smallsat Spectrum Management Association (“CSSMA”), an organization dedicated to creating transparent and expedited spectrum coordination process through educational outreach, sharing best practices, and regulatory advocacy. The CSSMA
The federal government is open. But less than three weeks remain under the current reprieve and another shutdown seems possible. Although the Federal Communications Commission tapped on-hand fees to support uninterrupted operations earlier this week, the FCC will start to run out of time – and money – if the stalemate over the budget continues and another shutdown occurs. How would a protracted shutdown affect the technology, media and telecom industries and the billions of dollars of investment that depend on regulatory action by the FCC? How soon before Samsung
In his keynote address at the 6th Annual Winnik Forum, Don Stockdale, the FCC’s new Wireless Bureau Chief, described the primary issues he faces as promoting innovation, making more spectrum available for commercial use, and expanding the deployment of wireless networks. Don began his appointment in June 2017, but has extensive experience as an economist and attorney in both the private and public sectors, with over 15 years of experience at the FCC alone. Don indicated that the biggest challenges facing the telecom industry today are: How the FCC has
At the annual Smallsat conference in Logan, Utah, the Commercial Smallsat Spectrum Management Association (CSSMA) held its first meeting since legally forming earlier this month. A number of well-known smallsat operators and other companies have joined the organization, which seeks to advance a number of goals common to the smallsat community. These goals include creating conditions for a transparent and expedited spectrum coordination process for shared spectrum and advocating CSSMA views on spectrum management and other policy matters affecting the smallsat community.
On July 26th, Hogan Lovells hosted another installment in its 2017 webinar series on emerging issues involving the Internet of Things (IoT). This webinar focused on potential legal issues with connected vehicles and smart cars, including in the areas of regulatory compliance, privacy, litigation, and intellectual property. Lance Bultena, a partner in Hogan Lovells Washington, D.C. office, moderated the discussion. Lance opened by explaining why the automotive industry is changing, emphasizing that the world is younger, more urban, more connected, and more concerned about the environment. Connected vehicles have emerged,
On July 13, the United States (“US”) Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) issued a decision allocating a contiguous 5 GHz band of radio frequency spectrum for vehicular radar operations. The decision implemented in the US a 2015 decision by the International Telecommunications Union (“ITU”) to harmonize such spectrum globally for vehicular radar use, making it possible for such systems to be manufactured much more cheaply than in the past dues to global economies-of-scale. This decision is important because the very large amount of contiguous spectrum allocated allows for high resolution. High
On 14 September 2016 the Commission unveiled an ambitious overhaul of EU telecommunications law. The proposed reforms are the centrepiece of what the Commission is calling its “Connectivity Package”. This is a bundle of legislative proposals and related initiatives released under the Commission’s Digital Single Market strategy whose common goal is to dramatically increase the speed and geographic coverage of high quality internet connectivity across the EU over the course of the next decade.
EDITOR’S NOTE: We are excited to present this entry in our TMT2020 series, which reflects the key technology, media, and telecoms legal issues that are expected to impact today’s organizations and tomorrow’s marketplace. It also provides an opportunity to highlight contributions by TMT colleagues across our global offices and practice areas. This year marked the 30th anniversary of the Smallsat Conference held at Utah State University. An estimated 2,200 attendees, approximately 10% more than last year, flew into Logan, Utah (population ~48,000) from all parts of the world to see
The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) is seeking updated information on how the increased adoption of radiofrequency energy-emitting devices is affecting the level of unwanted RF energy emitted from man-made sources (the “spectrum noise floor”). The FCC’s Technological Advisory Council (“TAC”) has launched a technical inquiry to study changes to the spectrum noise floor over the past two decades, and the FCC has set August 11, 2016 as the deadline to submit information in response to the inquiry. A variety of licensed and unlicensed devices emit radiofrequency or RF energy. “Incidental
On May 13, 2016, Ofcom published a consultation on its proposals for increasing the amount of radio spectrum available for Wi-Fi in the 5 GHz band to deliver high speed wireless broadband for consumers.
In a Statement and Consultation published on 26 May 2015, Ofcom, the UK telecoms regulator, published updated plans on the release of spectrum in the 2.3 and 3.4 GHz spectrum bands and it opened a consultation on options for proceeding with the award in light of potential changes in the mobile market in the UK. The 2.3 and 3.4 GHz award bands will be released by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) as part of the Government’s Public Sector Spectrum Release (PSSR) programme to make 500 MHz of spectrum available for
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (Bureau) has requested public input on a recent report on Cybersecurity Risk Management and Best Practices (Report) by the Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council (CSRIC) for communications providers. The Report represents the latest example of the U.S. government’s continued attention to these issues following the President’s 2013 Executive Order on Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity. Comments are due May 29, with replies due June 26. As background, CSRIC is a federal advisory committee with members from the private sector,
On 25 March 2015, the European Commission set out the three main areas it will focus on in developing its Digital Single Market Strategy, which is due to be published in May. These are: Better access for consumers and businesses to digital goods and services. This includes: Facilitating cross-border e-commerce, especially for SMEs, with harmonised consumer and contract rules and more efficient and affordable parcel delivery. Tackling geo-blocking to allow Europeans to use online services wherever they are within the EU, and on the same prices and terms. Modernising copyright law
The UK’s 2015 Budget has provided a platform for the UK government to reaffirm its commitment to the development of the digital economy. Chancellor George Osborne announced a number of measures affecting the digital and technology sectors in the Budget, and in this post we highlight the main ones relevant to the TMT sector. The UK Government plans to invest up to £600m to reallocate spectrum so as to open up the 700 MHz spectrum for further use in 4G networks, and to improve 4G coverage nationwide. The additional spectrum