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Telecommunications

Our cross-office team regularly advises telecoms, technology and media clients on issues facing the industry. Our clients range from start-ups and boutique investors to market-leading global corporations, including mobile network operators, telecoms infrastructure companies, fiber network and data center owners, equity investors and debt providers, broadcasters, and technology companies.

Vinson & Elkins is well recognized for telecommunications infrastructure transactions worldwide. While often involving attributes found in mainstream mergers and acquisitions and joint ventures, these transactions exhibit many features unique to the telecoms industry. Our team has significant experience relating to the negotiation and drafting of specialized industry documents, particularly in relation to telecom tower transactions. These include master lease, build-to-suit and service level arrangements.

As we continue to see high levels of transactional activity and growth, so too is our team regularly advising on the resolution of disputes in the sector. We have extensive experience with intellectual property disputes involving the telecom industry. In particular, we have extensive experience with patent litigation and other intellectual property disputes involving telecommunications hardware and software, especially with wireless communications. We have handled such cases for both patent owners and for defendants, including cases for a major wireless carrier in the U.S. and for a major smartphone manufacturer.

Our team has developed extensive experience, which enables us to be one of the few law firms that has the necessary knowledge and international presence to advise clients in this area.

Additional Information

Practice Highlights

Transactional

  • A global telecom company in connection with the sale and leaseback of telecom towers in Asia
  • An African telecoms infrastructure company on the acquisition and leaseback of portfolios of telecom towers in Ghana, Tanzania and the DRC, together with related equity investment and build-to-suit arrangements
  • An African telecoms infrastructure company on the acquisition and leaseback of a portfolio of telecom towers in Tanzania, together with the related equity investment and build-to-suit arrangements
  • A private equity investor on an equity line investment into a new platform for the development of data centers in emerging markets
  • A Middle Eastern mobile network operator on a proposed infrastructure sharing solution between its subsidiary entities and an African mobile network operator in respect of build-to-suit arrangements for new towers, master lease arrangements for the leasing of the new towers, and managed services arrangements for the management of the mobile network operator’s existing tower portfolio
  • A bidder in the auction for the acquisition of a portfolio of passive infrastructure assets in Europe from a major telecoms operator
  • A major US supplier on the acquisition of a leading technology firm which manufactures microchips for mobile devices, by way of a scheme of arrangement
  • A privately owned hedge fund sponsor on the acquisition of telecom tower asset infrastructure in Latin America
  • A private equity investor in connection with its acquisition of Multi-Links Telecommunications Limited, a fiber and CDMA telecommunications operator in Nigeria, from Telkom, a South African telecoms operator, and on its subsequent sale
  • A major European company on the financing of telecoms and related infrastructure in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq
  • Investors in Indian mobile telephony market in connection with the sale of an interest in a joint venture to an acquirer on a dispute arising during such sale; represented the same party in dispute with the acquirer and third joint venture over right of first refusal arising from the latter’s sale which resulted in a substantial settlement in our client’s favor

Disputes

  • A foreign investor in India’s 2G licensing round in connection with contractual and investor-state claims made under the relevant license and bilateral investment protection treaty resulting from the state’s cancellation post-award of 22 mobile telephony licenses and failure to refund license fees or pay compensation
  • A telecoms company to coordinate its response to interim relief applications brought against our client in Nigeria allegedly in support of arbitration proceedings pending against our client in South Africa
  • An international telecommunications carrier in its ICC arbitration in The Hague against a major Indian telecommunications entity; after an expedited hearing process, the Tribunal rendered an award on the merits in our client’s favor
  • A wireless technology company in patent infringement litigation involving wireless broadband technology
  • A major smartphone manufacturer in patent infringement litigation related to the following technologies: antenna technology, push technology, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), security technology and touchscreen technology
  • A major smartphone manufacturer in ITC litigation concerning memory chips and devices
  • A Fortune 50 telecommunications company in patent litigation relating to Ethernet computer networking technology, messaging technology and template-based web design

Key Contacts

+44.20.7065.6013
jeldredge@velaw.com

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