HWG has broad experience in international communications matters, advising companies, international organizations, and governments regarding the legal and policy problems of conducting business internationally.
Our practice includes advising U.S. subsidiaries of foreign parents on the provision of telecommunications services in the U.S. Our regulatory experience extends to traditional telecommunications issues, such as the proper treatment of roaming, licensing, and 5th-generation mobile services and Internet of Things, but also to broader concerns such as jurisdictional disputes between state and federal authorities and among sovereign states, right-of-way disputes, and environmental regulation of telecommunications facilities. We also have extensive experience representing companies before the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Commission on Inter-American Telecommunications (CITEL), and in World Trade Organization (WTO) matters (including accession, liberalization, and dispute settlement), market access disputes (including disputes over goods, services, investment, and government procurement), and bilateral and regional trade negotiations. HWG regularly represents clients in the critical multilateral organization meetings that determine international spectrum allocation, including the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC), the ITU’s Working Parties and Conference Preparatory Meeting, CITEL, and in the U.S. delegation meetings that prepare for those conferences.
HWG has a number of international affiliates whose expertise on the complex regulatory environments in other parts of the world complements the international legal knowledge and experience of our own attorneys and technical advisors.
- Represents both satellite, aerospace and terrestrial interests for WRC-23 across a number of agenda items, including those it helped conclude at the previous WRC.
- Secures licenses and other necessary authorizations from the FCC for international telecom services and submarine cable landings.
- Represents a trade association that promotes internationally-harmonized spectrum and the deployment of 5G services throughout the Americas.
- Played a key role in obtaining a WRC-23 agenda item for sub-orbital vehicles, such as space planes and reusable rocket stages.
- Helped secure a WRC-23 agenda item on inter-satellite links for fixed satellites in Ka-band frequencies.
- Secured a WRC-23 agenda item on digital wide-band technologies for commercial aviation safety-of-life applications, which can vastly improve voice and data transmission for aeronautical safety.
- Helped contain a WRC-23 agenda item contrary to clients’ next-generation Wi-Fi deployment plans to regions outside high-growth markets.
- At WRC-19, helped secure spectrum and new regulations for an additional provider of Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) service, for the first time ever, which will provide increased maritime safety globally.
- Secured guidelines at WRC-19 for both Earth Stations in Motion (ESIMs) and non-geostationary Mobile Satellite Service feeder links to operate in the Ka-band.
- Provided the legal and policy work that resulted in a global groundswell at WRC-19 for improved international rules for Wi-Fi at 5 GHz, while protecting the FCC’s Wi-Fi rules.
- Helped secure a number of gigahertz of global uplink and downlink spectrum at WRC-19 for high-altitude platform stations, or HAPS.
- Advises high-tech clients on foreign regulator electronic equipment compliance, certification and authorization matters.
- Offers strategic advice on opportunities for telecom services in markets in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas.
- Secured the first post-WTO approval of the acquisition of a U.S. telecommunications carrier by a company with substantial foreign governmental ownership