Services & Practices > Regulation and Disputes

We have assisted both regulators and private clients with a wide range of policy and regulatory issues as well as litigation, taxation and antitrust disputes.  The cases have involved regulators and policy makers in more than 20 countries, along with the EU’s Competition Commissioner, the Justice Departments of Canada and the United States, the Supreme Court of Ireland, and the U.S. Department of Defense.

Our consulting team includes the former Chairs and Members of regulatory commissions and senior regulators from several countries.  Some case summaries follow.

Expert Witness and Industry Analysis

On a longstanding court case on whether mobile licenses issued by the government should be sustained or an additional licenses should be issued, we assessed the impact across OECD of the number of licenses issued on industry growth as well as the readiness of the claimant’s technology for national deployment at the time of the original licensing.  The case was settled a week prior to the scheduled testimony of our expert witness.

EU Competition Authority Approvals

We provided a hedge fund with assessments of two proposed mobile mergers (Germany and Ireland)—specifically, whether approval by the EU Competition Authority could be expected and the conditions that were likely to be imposed.  Our basis included the Authority’s track record as well as changing policies with respect to industry structure and investment.

Licensing Framework and Incumbent Settlement

For an Asian government we helped establish a competitive unified licensing framework and negotiate a settlement with the incumbent operator as well as helped attract operators to bid on the new licenses.  In a nearby country we helped evaluate the bidders for the competitive license issued there, focusing on their technical ad financial plans.

Access Models for Broadband Regulation

For a regulator in a developing country we prepared case studies on how wholesale broadband and infrastructure-sharing frameworks at the backbone level had been conceived and pursued in other countries, noting the advantages and disadvantages of each case.  The countries examined included India (middle-mile approach), Kenya (4G sharing consortium) and Rwanda (4G backbone joint venture, including government).

We have also advised clients in the United States and Japan on “open access” models for mobile broadband and cable TV networks. 

Economic Consultants on Regulatory Forbearance

For the CRTC (Canada’s regulator) we served as principal economic consultants during a proceeding on forbearance of local telephone service regulations.  We assessed the filings and associated economic studies of the stakeholders participating in the proceeding (telephone companies, cable TV operators, ISPs, consumer groups, etc.), examined a range of issues related to tariff and marketing restrictions under which the telephone companies operated, and provided briefings and recommendations to the members and senior staff of the Commission.

Competition Policy, Interconnection and Pricing

We co-prepared the Regulatory Toolkit on these regulatory topics for the World Bank and ITU, including case studies from Japan and Kenya, and presented the results at an international workshop in Tunisia.  The Toolkits are intended to help new regulators develop their capabilities on a range of regulatory issues.  The team leader, Calvin Monson (then Vice President at NERA) serves as our senior advisor.

Development of Rural Mobile Access Strategy

In Tanzania we helped the government establish the Universal Communications Access Fund by designing a financing and project implementation strategy, drafting an organizational and HR plan, identifying rural areas without mobile coverage, and providing a “reverse auction” tender framework for launching the Fund’s initial rural access projects.  The mobile coverage pilot tenders are being launched.

Fixed-Mobile Interconnection Dispute

We have supported a fixed operator in its dispute with a mobile entrant over interconnection fees.  Our senior consultant testified during the regulatory proceeding that resulted in a resolution of the dispute.

Expert Witness in Mobile Operator License Case

We provided an expert witness on behalf of the government licensing authority in Ireland (ComReg) during a Supreme Court review of an appeals court decision that upheld a challenge of how the government issued the third mobile operator license.  The review resulted in the Supreme Court reversal of the lower court decision and citation of the supporting role of the expert witness.

Telecom Sector Case Studies

We have completed privatization and sector liberalization studies and advisory cases dealing with Brazil, Chile, France, Hong Kong, Hungary, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, UK, US and other countries, which have served as inputs to several regulatory framework assignments.  Similarly, our in-depth market studies of telecommunications growth in a cross-section of Asian and European markets (and detailed understanding of U.S. market evolution) have proven helpful in analyzing telecom markets in other parts of the world. 

See also Spectrum and Licensing Practice.