John P Janka
Latham & Watkins LLP
This fully updated eighth edition of The Technology, Media and Telecommunications Review provides an overview of evolving legal constructs in 26 jurisdictions around the world. It is intended as a business-focused framework for both start-ups and established companies, as well as an overview for those interested in examining evolving law and policy in the rapidly changing TMT sector.
Broadband connectivity and wireless services continue to drive law and policy in this
sector. The disruptive effect of new technologies and new ways of communicating creates challenges around the world as regulators seek to facilitate the deployment of state-of-the-art communications infrastructure to all citizens and also to use the limited radio spectrum more efficiently than before. At the same time, technological innovation makes it commercially practical to use large segments of ‘higher’ parts of the radio spectrum for the first time. Moreover, the global nature of TMT companies compels them to address these issues in different ways than before.
A host of new demands, such as the developing internet of things, the need for
broadband service to aeroplanes, vessels, motor vehicles and trains, and the general desire for faster and better mobile broadband service no matter where we go, create pressures on the existing spectrum environment. Regulators are being forced to both ‘refarm’ existing spectrum bands, so that new services and technologies can access spectrum previously set aside for businesses that either never developed or no longer have the same spectrum needs; and facilitate spectrum sharing between different services in ways previously not contemplated. Many important issues are being studied as part of the preparation for the next World Radio-communication Conference to be held in 2019. No doubt, this Conference will lead to changes in long-standing radio spectrum allocations that have not kept up with advances in technology, and it should also address the flexible ways that new technologies allow many different services to co-exist in the same segment of spectrum.