Telecoms updates

China

MIIT issues guidelines on commercialisation of mobile communications resale services
  • China
  • June 13 2018

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) recently issued its Notice on the Formal Commercialisation of Mobile Communications Resale Services, under which private enterprises, state-owned enterprises and foreign-invested enterprises may apply to undertake mobile communications resale services. Applicants must apply to the MIIT or their regional communications administration for the corresponding telecoms business licence and submit contracts signed by the major telecoms companies.


Mexico

Contributed by Hogan Lovells BSTL SC
Functional separation of Telmex leaves some sceptical
  • Mexico
  • April 25 2018

The Federal Institute of Telecommunications recently approved the final programme for the functional separation of Mexico's fixed incumbent companies as a consequence of the asymmetric regulation imposed on the América Movil Group (AMX). However, AMX has informed the Mexican Stock Exchange that it will challenge the approval of the programme and there has been some scepticism as to the results and practical consequences of the separation.

IFT announces 2.5 GHz auction
  • Mexico
  • April 04 2018

The Federal Institute of Telecommunications recently announced the auction of the 2.5 GHz band. The auction's purpose is to assign the commercial use and exploitation of 120 MHz of the 2,500 to 2,690 MHz band for the provision of wireless services. Four companies and one consortium are interested in formally participating in the auction process, which is expected to be completed by November 2018.


Switzerland

Revised postal and telecoms surveillance legislation
  • Switzerland
  • November 29 2017

The Federal Council recently announced that the revised Postal and Telecommunications Surveillance Act and its implementing ordinances will enter into force in March 2018. The revised act clarifies, strengthens and broadens the powers of the criminal prosecution authorities when it comes to communications surveillance. More specifically, it seeks to prevent situations where criminal suspects could avoid surveillance by using new technologies.


Taiwan

Contributed by Shay & Partners
NCC invites public comments on 5G spectrum planning
  • Taiwan
  • June 20 2018

The National Communications Commission (NCC) has initiated a public consultation on 5G spectrum planning and auction preparation. Industry stakeholders and interested parties are invited to give comments in written form by 29 June 2018. NCC Chair Nicole Chan stated that the commission will be submitting its final analysis of the public consultation to the Executive Yuan in July 2018. The premier will then issue a further decision on 5G spectrum.

5G spectrum auction planned for July 2018
  • Taiwan
  • May 09 2018

The National Communications Commission (NCC) released its 2017 Taiwan Communications Market Report in April 2018. The report disclosed the progress being made in preparation for the 5G spectrum auction, during which the NCC will identify that the 28 gigahertz (GHz) band, as well as the 3.4GHz and 3.6GHz bands, should be available for auction in 2020, aiming for large-scale 5G application.

Next big thing – 5G and narrowband Internet of Things
  • Taiwan
  • February 14 2018

Chunghwa Telecom recently announced that it will make a 5G pre-commercial system available in Taipei in 2020. The National Communications Commission has welcomed the move. It has also stated that its legislative proposal on the Telecommunications Act will take a proactive approach in responding to the significant need for flexible frequency sharing and network use.

NCC warns of WiFi security breach
  • Taiwan
  • November 01 2017

The National Communications Commission (NCC) recently issued a warning regarding the key reinstallation attack and urged network operators and equipment providers to fix this unprecedented flaw in WiFi protection that has left almost all home routers at risk of being hacked. The NCC advised subscribers to avoid sending confidential or sensitive personal data via WiFi connections and to use 4G mobile internet access instead.

Third round of Taiwan's 4G spectrum auction announced
  • Taiwan
  • August 23 2017

The National Communications Commission recently announced its timetable for the third round of Taiwan's 4G spectrum auction, during which potential bidders can submit applications and qualification for review. The bid winners will take mobile broadband universal services to rural areas with a guaranteed access speed of 100 megabytes per second.


USA

Contributed by Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP
Verification fax found to be advertising
  • USA
  • June 20 2018

An Illinois federal court recently declared that a fax sent to verify the contact information of recipients constituted an 'advertisement' within the meaning of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act because it had declared the commercial availability of the defendant's services on its face. As an alternative holding, the court found that the fax served as a pretext to an advertisement as it had required the plaintiff to access a website advertising the defendant's services in order to stop such faxes.

Fourth Circuit: no ratification, no vicarious liability
  • USA
  • May 23 2018

The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has affirmed summary judgment in favour of two Telephone Consumer Protection Act defendants that the panel found were not vicariously liable for calls made by telemarketers promoting their products. The court found that the defendants had not ratified the allegedly illegal activity cited in the plaintiffs' complaint and could not be held liable under the statute. The decision offers a roadmap for parties seeking to avoid vicarious liability under the act.

Court refuses to hit the brakes
  • USA
  • May 16 2018

The New York attorney general's false advertising suit challenging Time Warner Cable's (TWC's) speed claims is not pre-empted by Federal Communications Commission regulations, a New York federal judge has ruled. In a complaint filed in February 2017, Attorney General Eric T Schneiderman claimed that TWC and Spectrum had deliberately and systematically defrauded New York consumers by promising services that they knew they could not deliver.

With evidence of possible consent, Yahoo! scores class decertification
  • USA
  • May 09 2018

An Illinois federal district judge handed Yahoo! a rare defence victory when it decertified the class of plaintiffs in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act lawsuit involving text messages sent from a user messaging platform based on evidence obtained from a phone carrier during the class member identification process. This case serves as a lesson to engage in precertification discovery, particularly if certification seems likely.

Fourth Circuit: lower courts must follow FCC's TCPA interpretations
  • USA
  • May 02 2018

In a recent ruling, the Fourth Circuit has followed its sister circuits in holding that district courts must follow the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC's) interpretations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The Hobbs Act dictates that courts must apply the 2006 FCC rule in interpreting the TCPA and that rule, in turn, tells courts what constitutes an 'advertisement' within the meaning of the statute.