Wiley Rein has substantial satellite communications experience. Jennifer D. Hindin chairs our team of attorneys and engineers who handle domestic and international regulatory, policy, and transactional matters related to satellites and earth stations. Our clients include established global satellite operators, satellite communications service providers, launch service providers, equipment manufacturers, industry associations, and U.S. and foreign investors in the satellite industry.
The Wiley Rein Satellite Group provides regulatory advice and has obtained licenses for a wide range of satellite communications services, including:
- Fixed satellite service (FSS): Wiley Rein provides day-to-day regulatory advice to one of the largest global FSS operators, including securing and modifying Federal Communications Commission (FCC) satellite licenses as necessary to fulfill business needs.
- Mobile satellite service (MSS): We secured authority for a global MSS provider to access additional worldwide spectrum and are advising on regulatory matters for licensing its next-generation satellite system.
- Satellite radio service: Our attorneys obtained spectrum rights and a U.S. license for our client to offer satellite radio service.
- Direct broadcast satellite (DBS): We helped a new entrant secure spectrum rights and a U.S. license for a "tweener" DBS satellite.
- Aeronautical MSS: The Wiley Rein Satellite Group helped a client obtain an aeronautical MSS earth station authorization for the provision of two-way broadband Internet service onboard aircraft.
Wiley Rein helps ensure our clients' satellite and earth station operations comport with FCC regulatory and technical requirements. We routinely work with engineers to develop persuasive technical presentations for regulators and policy decision makers. As part of this process, our experience includes advising clients on:
- Orbital debris mitigation;
- First-come, first-served processing of satellite applications;
- Milestone compliance;
- Coordination with co-primary terrestrial operations;
- Ancillary terrestrial component (ATC) rights;
- Network outage, E911, and other required reports; and
- Replacement expectancy and license renewals.
Our Satellite Group attorneys also have experience securing international satellite spectrum rights. In this role, we have:
- Served as delegates to World Radiocommunication Conferences (WRC).
- Assisted a government in understanding, negotiating, and securing international orbital slot priority for a new satellite.
- Completed successfully the International Telecommunications Union's (ITU) advance publication, coordination, and registration process.
- Assisted with satellite network coordination.
Our Satellite Group also assists clients with strategic planning for transactions involving satellite communications companies. For example, we:
- Routinely monitor and keep our clients apprised of satellite communications and spectrum matters pending before the FCC, Congress, and the ITU;
- Assist with regulatory due diligence of satellite service providers, including those with terrestrial expansion rights;
- Secure FCC approval for mergers of satellite system operators; and
- Work on public and private equity transactions involving established providers of FSS, MSS, and satellite radio service.
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