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Global Media and Communications Watch The International Legal Blog for the Tech, Media and Telecoms Industry

Category Archives: Spectrum

Posted in Broadcasting, Licensing, Spectrum, Telecoms & Broadband Michele Farquhar

Broadcast Incentive Auction Update: Rules of the Road Coming Soon

The FCC is expected to vote on rules governing the broadcast incentive auction during its May 15 open meeting.  Although the Report and Order outlining the rules is still being circulated internally among FCC leadership and has not been released to the public, the FCC has not been shy about telegraphing the direction the final rules might take, including broadcaster-related … Continue Reading

Posted in Policy & Regulation, Spectrum Tom Peters

LTE-Unlicensed – The New WiFi?

Over the past few months, a debate has been quietly raging in the international standards group 3GPP over the possibility of using the 4G wireless technology LTE in unlicensed spectrum.  LTE is the de facto standard for 4G in licensed spectrum – the latest iPhones and Android devices support it on every major US operator’s network – and WiFi is … Continue Reading

Posted in Policy & Regulation, Spectrum Trey HanburyWesley Platt

A Shared Vision for Spectrum

Earlier this month, the U.K. took a small but significant step towards a future in which spectrum is shared rather than reserved for a particular use.  The U.K.’s Department for Culture, Media, and Sport (“DCMS”) released its 2014 Spectrum Strategy, which committed to “a gradual move” from exclusive to shared use of spectrum, in line with the European Commission’s Continue Reading

Posted in Spectrum, Telecoms & Broadband Christopher Thomas

European Commission questions Telefónica Deutschland / E-Plus merger

According to the news service mlex, on 27 February 2014 the European Commission adopted a formal Statement of Objections against the Spanish operator Telefónica’s plan to buy E-plus of Germany, laying out concerns that deal could harm competition and lead to price increases. The contents of the Statement of Objections are not yet publicly available, and EC spokesman Antoine Continue Reading

Posted in Spectrum, Telecoms & Broadband

Wireless Avionics Intra-Communications Technology Not Slated for Takeoff Any Time Soon

Wireless avionics intra-communications (“WAIC”) technology holds the promise of a safer, more efficient international aviation fleet, but the slow pace of designating spectrum for the service and the possible need for the reallocation of additional spectrum may leave WAIC sitting on the tarmac until at least 2015. And absent broad international consensus, WAIC deployment may never get off the ground … Continue Reading

Posted in Broadcasting, Policy & Regulation, Spectrum, Telecoms & Broadband Trey Hanbury

FCC Delays Incentive Auction To Mid-2015

The US Federal Communications Commission has postponed the auction of 600 MHz broadband spectrum currently occupied by the nation’s over-the-air television operators until mid-2015.

In a blog posted on the Federal Communications Commission’s website on December 6, 2013, Chairman Wheeler announced the delay and a more detailed schedule that sets tentative milestones for activities leading up to the auction.   The … Continue Reading

Posted in Broadcasting, Licensing, Policy & Regulation, Spectrum, Telecoms & Broadband Trey Hanbury

Mexico overhauls telecom regulator, continues ambitious reform

The Mexican telecommunication regulatory body is in the midst of a significant overhaul, and major changes on the horizon could affect any entity with wireless voice or data operations near the U.S.-Mexican border.  Should uncertainty persist into the new year, the Mexican regulatory transition has the potential to affect the upcoming 600 MHz incentive auction, which will require intensive international … Continue Reading

Posted in Policy & Regulation, Spectrum, Telecoms & Broadband Charlie Hawes

EU Commission announces plans for single telecoms market

On 11 September 2013 the European Commission announced its proposals for the most far reaching reform of the European Union’s telecoms market in 26 years. The Commission describes this legislative package as an intermediate step towards the ultimate goal of creating a genuine fully integrated single market in telecommunications across the EU. Whilst the Commission remains of the view that … Continue Reading

Posted in Internet, Policy & Regulation, Spectrum, Telecoms & Broadband Peter WattsConor Ward

European Commission proposes “Connected Continent” legislative reforms for telecoms sector

The European Commission has announced the adoption of a legislative package for a “Connected Continent: Building a Telecoms Single Market”.

The package proposes a range of reforms to be rolled out over the next 3 years, subject to approval by the European Parliament.  Global Media and Communications Watch will feature a longer post shortly but key elements include:

  • A single
Continue Reading
Posted in Internet, Policy & Regulation, Spectrum, Telecoms & Broadband Trey Hanbury

Winnik panel debates infrastructure solutions to the wireless data crunch

Infrastructure will play a critical role in meeting the challenges of the looming “wireless data crunch,” said Jonathan Adelstein, President and CEO of PCIA – The Wireless Infrastructure Association, during his keynote address at the 2013 Winnik International Telecoms & Internet Forum.  Mr. Adelstein explained that while more spectrum and more efficient use of spectrum are components of the … Continue Reading

Posted in Spectrum, Telecoms & Broadband Conor Ward

Ofcom to permit use of 2G and 3G spectrum for LTE & WiMAX (4G) services

Ofcom has today announced that it will permit mobile phone operators to use their existing 2G and 3G radio spectrum for LTE & WiMAX (4G) services in the future.
 
The decision allows mobile operators to increase mobile broadband speeds in future by re-using their 2G and 3G spectrum for LTE & WiMAX (4G), and to plan and implement moves to … Continue Reading

Posted in Broadcasting, Copyright, Entertainment & Content, Internet, Policy & Regulation, Spectrum Winston Maxwell

European Commission proposes co-regulatory solutions for connected TV

The European Commission’s Green Paper “Preparing for a Fully Converged Audiovisual World: Growth, Creation and Values” asks stakeholders to comment on some of the most difficult policy questions of the decade, such as how to preserve European audiovisual policy objectives in a borderless Internet environment.  Here are highlights:

Copyright.  The Commission refers to its ongoing work on copyright reform, Continue Reading

Posted in Spectrum, Telecoms & Broadband

French competition authority opines on network sharing by telecommunication operators

Upon a request of Bouygues Telecom, which complained that the new mobile entrant Free does not bear the same investment constraints as its competitors, benefiting in particular from national roaming and infrastructure sharing, the French government asked for an opinion from the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) regarding mobile infrastructure sharing and national roaming . In its Opinion 13-A-08 of 11 Continue Reading

Posted in Broadcasting, Licensing, Policy & Regulation, Spectrum, Telecoms & Broadband

Reform of the telecom & broadcasting sectors in Mexico

Mexico has announced a major reform in the telecommunications and broadcasting sectors, liberalizing not only foreign investment, but also promising antitrust enforcement and government infrastructure sharing, along with targeted sector-specific regulatory reform. These changes, when implemented, will provide significant opportunities for international investors to enter and/or increase their positions in the Mexican telecommunications and broadcasting sectors.

The attached summary presents Continue Reading

Posted in Broadcasting, Policy & Regulation, Spectrum, Telecoms & Broadband Peter Watts

Insights into future UK policy

UK minister Ed Vaizey today sketched the Government’s approach to some areas of media and communications policy ahead of a formal White Paper expected in the first half of 2013.

Speaking at the Oxford Media Convention he provided insights on areas including;

  • Spectrum: Alongside explicit recognition of the critical importance of spectrum, the Minister emphasised a continued focus on freeing
Continue Reading
Posted in Spectrum, Telecoms & Broadband

Hong Kong consults on auction rules for 3G licences

Hong Kong authorities said they want to encourage new market entry when Hong Kong 3G licences expire in 2016 while minimizing service disruption.  A new consultation paper proposes rules for re-assigning the 3G spectrum and for setting license fees. Comments to the new paper are due February 28, 2013.

3G licences (frequency spectrum in the 1.9 – 2.2 GHz band) Continue Reading

Posted in Broadcasting, Copyright, Entertainment & Content, Internet, Licensing, Policy & Regulation, Spectrum, Telecoms & Broadband

Time Warner Cable’s latest victory proves significant for the communications infrastructure industry

On December 13, 2012 the Texas Public Utilities Commission (PUC) ruled that the City of San Antonio’s electric company had discriminated against Time Warner Cable and in favor of AT&T. The PUC found that the discrimination occurred with respect to the rates (that were four to five times as high), terms and conditions for access to the utility’s poles (including … Continue Reading

Posted in Broadcasting, Spectrum Trey Hanbury

Truth or Dare: Encouraging Truthful Bidding in the US Incentive Auction

By: Coleman Bazelon & Giulia McHenry, The Brattle Group; Trey Hanbury, Hogan Lovells

The Federal Communications Commission recently proposed a voluntary “incentive auction” of most of the nation’s over-the-air television frequencies.  The process of trading rabbit ears for smartphones begins with a reverse auction for the broadcasters’ spectrum.  The auction is called a “reverse” auction because the … Continue Reading

Posted in Policy & Regulation, Spectrum, Telecoms & Broadband

Setting the arena – the German regulator proposes possible scenarios for the future allocation of mobile broadband frequencies

The German telecoms regulator Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA) is currently considering different scenarios for the future allocation of frequencies for mobile broadband services.  This initiative relates to the discussion about the 900 and 1,800 MHz frequencies that are currently used by mobile operators for their GSM networks. The current licenses for these frequencies will expire by the end of 2016. Mobile operators … Continue Reading

Posted in Licensing, Policy & Regulation, Spectrum, Telecoms & Broadband Trey Hanbury

Sequestration Could Potentially Delay Telecom Deals and Slow Smartphone Offerings, But Should Not Affect Phone Subsidy and Auction Programs

When last year’s “supercommittee” failed to reach consensus on a plan to reduce the deficit, it set in motion $1.2 trillion in defense and non-defense spending cuts for 2013. If Congress does not act to prevent this “sequestration” by January 2, 2013, the budget axe will fall across virtually every element of the US government. The Office of Management and … Continue Reading

Posted in Spectrum, Telecoms & Broadband Peter Watts

UK 4G Auction launched

 UK communications regulator Ofcom has taken another significant step on the road to 4G services being fully deployed across the UK.

The long running industry wrangles that have delayed 4G were finally resolved by a government brokered agreement last month.

Ofcom has now published the regulations and timetable that will govern the auction. The regulations set a provisional date for … Continue Reading

Posted in Policy & Regulation, Spectrum, Telecoms & Broadband

FCC’s WCS Order Raises Cheers … and Questions

Written by Trey Hanbury and Phillip Berenbroick

In a move that has the potential to unleash new broadband deployment across the United States, the Federal Communications Commission recently loosened technical constraints on the long-dormant 2.3 GHz band.  The rules that the FCC adopted October 17, 2012 essentially ratify a joint proposal that the two largest licensees in the band, the … Continue Reading