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.
The president recently launched the Red Compartida (or Shared Network), which is one of the most important projects being undertaken in the Mexican telecoms sector. The project involves a new mobile broadband network in the 700 MHz band, which will provide wholesale services under a public-private partnership structure between Altán Redes and the government. The project aims to provide mobile broadband coverage to 92.2% of the Mexican population by 2024.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Robocalls are a hot topic in Washington DC, with new proposed legislation, testimony from the Federal Trade Commission regarding its efforts to combat the problem and a second further notice of proposed rulemaking from the Federal Communications Commission having all been released in the past few months. These give some important insight into how robocalls may be treated in future and could give rise to future Telephone Consumer Protection Act litigation.
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.
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.
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.
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.