Home / Publications


Discover thought leadership and legal insights by our legal experts from across CMS. In our Expert Guides, written by CMS lawyers from across the jurisdictions where we operate, we provide you with in-depth legal research and insights that can be read both online and offline. You can also find Law-Now articles with focused legal analysis, commentary and insights to help you anticipate future challenges and much more.

Media type
04 June 2021
On the Pulse
Wel­come to ‘On the Pulse’ de­livered by the Glob­al Life Sci­ences & Health­care Sec­tor Group A video/pod­cast series, On the Pulse, brings to­geth­er CMS law­yers and ex­perts to dis­cuss key in­dustry top­ics...
01 June 2021
FDI and di­git­al as­sets
FDI joins com­pet­i­tion and reg­u­lat­ory rules as ma­jor con­sid­er­a­tion in di­git­al in­fra­struc­ture M&A deals With the ar­rival of For­eign Dir­ect In­vest­ment (FDI) re­gimes, a whole new lay­er of reg­u­lat­ory con­cerns is now im­posed on in­vest­ments in the com­mu­nic­a­tions sec­tor. These in­vest­ment re­view and con­trol sys­tems run un­ashamedly against the long-pre­vail­ing tide of mar­ket open­ing: they rep­res­ent the clear tri­umph of se­cur­ity con­cerns and na­tion­al in­terest over prin­ciples of free move­ment of busi­ness and cap­it­al.  In this way, reg­u­lat­ors are in­creas­ingly con­sid­er­ing com­mu­nic­a­tions in­fra­struc­ture as either:crit­ic­al na­tion­al in­fra­struc­ture, orim­port­ant na­tion­al as­set­s­This has led to a par­al­lel chain of ap­prov­al, which sits along­side any com­pet­i­tion pro­cess or cri­ter­ia, al­though the two tracks may have as­pects in com­mon. The FDI ap­provals are gen­er­ally car­ried out by a min­is­ter or gov­ern­ment de­part­ment and are more of­ten a polit­ic­al rather than a strictly leg­al pro­cess. This al­lows a wide range of dis­cre­tion, as well as less form­al­ity. Whilst most reg­u­lat­ory re­gimes have spe­cified as­sess­ment peri­ods, tim­ing can be more un­cer­tain in FDI than mer­ger con­trol pro­cesses. In ad­di­tion, FDI re­view of these trans­ac­tions de­pends on vary­ing defin­i­tions of “pub­lic in­terest”, such as pub­lic or­der, na­tion­al se­cur­ity, pro­tec­tion of in­di­vidu­al rights and sup­ply chain re­li­ab­il­ity.FDI con­trols of­ten cap­ture agree­ments, ac­quis­i­tion types and struc­tur­al mech­an­isms that may fall out­side mer­ger con­trol rules. Fur­ther­more, many FDI re­gimes ap­ply ir­re­spect­ive of any turnover or oth­er thresholds.Na­tion­al in­dus­tri­al policies have evolved quickly to re­flect the grow­ing im­port­ance of di­git­al in­fra­struc­ture and com­mu­nic­a­tions in so­ci­ety, and the new meth­ods of work­ing and liv­ing that have de­veloped dur­ing the epi­dem­ic. The pro­tec­tion of di­git­al in­fra­struc­ture and the se­cur­ity of com­mu­nic­a­tions net­works are key, for ex­ample, to the UK’s new Na­tion­al Se­cur­ity and In­vest­ment Act. This in­cludes ex­pans­ive sec­tor­al defin­i­tions and, when it comes in­to force later in 2021, will re­quire the man­dat­ory no­ti­fic­a­tion of (among oth­er deals) a broad ar­ray of di­git­al and com­mu­nic­a­tions-re­lated trans­ac­tions. Oth­er coun­tries such as Ger­many have for some time con­sidered the op­er­a­tion of IT in­fra­struc­ture, hous­ing and host­ing, con­tent de­liv­ery net­works and cloud com­put­ing ser­vices as “sens­it­ive”, re­quir­ing man­dat­ory no­ti­fic­a­tions of dir­ect or in­dir­ect in­vest­ments by non-EU/EFTA per­sons. Since May 2021, for­eign in­vest­ment in com­pan­ies de­vel­op­ing or man­u­fac­tur­ing net­work com­pon­ents also of­ten re­quire no­ti­fic­a­tion.These con­sid­er­a­tions in­ter­act in a com­plex way with new in­vest­ment mod­els for di­git­al in­fra­struc­ture. Earli­er mod­els, such as the na­tion­al cham­pi­on/dom­in­ant op­er­at­or/single net­work com­mu­nic­a­tions paradigm, have evolved in­to a broad­er eco­sys­tem.Now, there are al­most al­ways mul­tiple stake­hold­ers, both at the net­work and ser­vices level - in­clud­ing ser­vice pro­viders, net­work own­ers and op­er­at­ors (mo­bile and fixed) - as well as “over the top” play­ers that use tele­com net­works to de­liv­er com­mu­nic­a­tions and re­lated ser­vices.What’s more, a new range of fun­ders and lenders has emerged, provid­ing “neut­ral host in­fra­struc­ture” that make net­works avail­able on a “con­nectiv­ity as a ser­vice” basis. This can fur­ther com­plic­ate reg­u­lat­ors’ abil­ity to gauge the po­ten­tial im­pact of M&A on do­mest­ic in­fra­struc­ture and ser­vices.With FDI con­sid­er­a­tions in­creas­ingly im­pact­ing com­mu­nic­a­tions deals, na­tion­al and re­gion­al reg­u­lat­ors will need to up­date their mod­els and guidelines in or­der to re­flect the wider range and great­er num­ber of in­fra­struc­ture and ser­vice pro­viders.
01 June 2021
5G net­work shar­ing in densely pop­u­lated areas
Com­mer­cial 5G ser­vices are start­ing to launch across Europe, fol­low­ing the first round of auc­tions and is in line with the European 5G Ac­tion Plan. There is a strong case for the next wave of 5G in­vest­ment in urb­an areas to fea­ture net­work shar­ing ar­range­ments, which have already proven use­ful in sparsely pop­u­lated rur­al areas that might oth­er­wise have been too costly for mul­tiple op­er­at­ors to serve. Across the board, net­work shar­ing en­ables op­er­at­ors to ex­tend cov­er­age at lower cost and re­duce cap­it­al and op­er­at­ing ex­pendit­ure, es­pe­cially in areas where it is un­eco­nom­ic to de­ploy sev­er­al com­pet­ing in­fra­struc­ture net­works.  Ef­fi­cient use of urb­an space  5G net­works, par­tic­u­larly in urb­an areas, will re­quire many more base sta­tions (or cell sites) than 3G and 4G have. This will sig­ni­fic­antly in­crease net­work roll-out costs, as op­er­at­ors will need to build new cell sites and RAN in­fra­struc­ture. Each new cell site will also re­quire back­haul, fur­ther adding to de­ploy­ment costs. In dense urb­an set­tings, there are few­er loc­a­tions that can sup­port phys­ic­al in­fra­struc­ture re­quire­ments. In this case, net­work shar­ing agree­ments can al­low more play­ers to of­fer 5G ser­vices in cit­ies. The costs of 5G Spec­tru­mUp­grad­ing ex­ist­ing RAN in­fra­struc­ture (masts, base sta­tions and an­ten­nae)Up­grad­ing IT and ser­vice plat­forms New high­er-fre­quency spec­trum­New in­fra­struc­ture
01 June 2021
Net­work shar­ing at a glance
Thanks to all CMS ex­perts who con­trib­uted to this com­pre­hens­ive study. Spe­cial thanks to: Ed­it­ors in Chief: Chris Wat­son, Dora Petra­nyi Au­thors: Claudia Nagy, Anne Chitan, Cristina Ci­omos, James Sam­son, Joseph Ladusans, Bruce Gav­in, Daniel Rush
01 June 2021
What is net­work shar­ing?
01 June 2021
The latest in net­work shar­ing reg­u­la­tion
In our last net­work shar­ing study, we dis­cussed the (then) ma­jor le­gis­lat­ive pro­pos­al for a 'European Elec­tron­ic Com­mu­nic­a­tions Code' (EECC) which at the time en­countered dif­fi­culties in be­ing ad­op­ted. As briefly out­lined be­low, the EECC was fi­nally ad­op­ted and entered in­to force in 2018.
01 June 2021
The Rise of Tower­Cos, Fibre­Cos and Net­Cos
One of the biggest trends in the last 12-18 months has been the di­vest­ment of pass­ive as­sets by mo­bile net­work op­er­at­ors (MNOs). While it ex­is­ted pre­vi­ously, this is now an ac­cel­er­at­ing world­wide phe­nomen­on. One cru­cial com­pon­ent is the will­ing­ness of MNOs to dis­pose of their in­fra­struc­ture in­to a newly cre­ated com­pany (some­times on a joint ven­ture basis), which op­er­ates either on a cap­tive basis or as a neut­ral host net­work opened to oth­er op­er­at­ors. The deals are of­ten backed by a whole­sale deal between the new in­fraco and the di­vest­ing op­er­at­or. There are demon­strated be­ne­fits for tel­cos opt­ing to hive off tower­cos and fibre­cos:re­lease cap­it­al­mon­et­ise as­set port­fo­li­osre­duce costs of cap­it­alre­duce capex­op­tim­ise and di­ver­si­fy sources of fin­an­cing for in­fra­struc­ture de­ploy­mentsin­crease ef­fi­cien­cies­And for in­vestors:at­tract­ive long-term op­por­tun­it­ieslow-risk po­s­i­tion­spre­dict­able re­turns and rev­en­ues
01 June 2021
In­ter­view with Juan Velázquez Saiz
Juan Velázquez Saiz is a Gen­er­al Coun­sel for Europe at Or­ange. In this in­ter­view, Juan talks about the les­sons Or­ange has learned from net­work shar­ing, and the need for na­tion­al reg­u­lat­ors to have a long-term vis­ion.
01 June 2021
Prac­tic­al as­pects of net­work shar­ing agree­ments
CMS has ad­vised elec­tron­ic com­mu­nic­a­tions op­er­at­ors and in­vestors on net­work shar­ing agree­ments over many years. Suc­cess­ful deals re­quire:lower-ro­man­sever­al months of plan­ning,pre­par­a­tion of busi­ness cases,de­tailed op­er­a­tion­al stud­ies, an­dt­hor­ough as­sess­ments of po­ten­tial be­ne­fits and risks.
01 June 2021
In­ter­view with Amy Wetten­hall
Amy Wetten­hall is Seni­or Vice Pres­id­ent at Macquar­ie Group. In this in­ter­view, Amy talks about the in­vest­ment land­scape and what the fu­ture may hold for shar­ing of dif­fer­ent types of in­fra­struc­ture.
01 June 2021
In­ter­view with Michel van Bellinghen
As part of the CMS Net­work Shar­ing Study, we are for­tu­nate to in­clude the views of Michel van Bellinghen, Chair 2021 of the Body of European Reg­u­lat­ors for Elec­tron­ic Com­mu­nic­a­tions (BEREC), in re­sponse to our ques­tions.
31 May 2021
CMS Net­work Shar­ing 4.5
On the brink of a new gen­er­a­tion