Technology, Media & Telecommunications

The Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) sectors are fast becoming key pillars of human economic and social development. TMT touches most aspects of our personal and corporate lives, and provides faster and better ways for people to connect, communicate, network, learn, and access information and services.  Commercial activities are increasingly technology and data driven.

The TMT sectors are characterised by rapid technological innovation and expansion, evolving customer expectations and increased competition, which result in additional commercial, economic, legal and regulatory challenges. The blurring of lines between formerly distinct sectors as well as fast emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, process automation, Internet of Things and big data create increased opportunities and risks.  The increased frequency of cyber-attacks requires businesses to understand the risk and potential consequences of security breaches.

Continued innovation brings with it ongoing changes to legal and regulatory frameworks aimed at addressing emerging issues. Industry leaders are also under increased scrutiny from authorities and regulatory bodies.

Companies operating in the TMT sectors must therefore be able to adapt easily and quickly to the changing and often unpredictable economic, legal and regulatory environment.

Our lawyers are experienced in assisting leaders in the TMT sectors to manage the complex business and regulatory environment while taking advantage of new opportunities. With an in-depth understanding of the technological, legal and regulatory landscape and up to date knowledge of the latest developments and innovations, our TMT lawyers are well placed to provide practical and strategic advice to clients in regulatory matters and cross-border transactions throughout Africa and beyond.

Our TMT lawyers have unrivalled experience in the full spectrum of electronic and print media matters. We advise on all aspects of audio and audiovisual media services policy and regulation across all platforms, including the licensing and regulation of linear and non-linear audio and audiovisual media services, with particular expertise in policy, legislation, regulation and licensing of audiovisual media services, platforms and frequency spectrum across the African continent. We advise leading local and international clients such as leading satellite, terrestrial and mobile subscription broadcasters and streaming services across Africa.

We also advise leading electronic communications services and electronic communications network service providers such as fixed and mobile telecommunications service providers and internet service providers on the full spectrum of telecommunications regulatory matters, including policy, legislation, regulation, licensing (including the transfer of licences) and frequency spectrum, including fixed, mobile, internet services, e-commerce, OTT services and data privacy.

In addition, we advise leading print media and online publishers, a diverse range of companies providing information and communication technology (ICT) services, software and hardware, as well as advertising agencies.

Our TMT lawyers have extensive experience across a wide spectrum of technology matters, including  negotiating, drafting and advising on IT related agreements and policies, software and app development, electronic communications and website policies, data protection and privacy policies, social media, electronic commerce, outsourcing and compliance, frequency spectrum, telecommunications, broadcasting and broadcasting signal distribution.

Our expertise extends to related areas of law, including Constitutional law, administrative law, consumer protection, data protection and privacy, competition law, films and publications classification, advertising law, intellectual property law, sports law, online gambling and sports betting, commercial and contract law, radio astronomy and related areas.

Our lawyers are highly regarded in South Africa and internationally and recognised by credible peer reviews as leaders in our field.

Some of our most significant engagements include:

  • Advising and representing the MultiChoice Group in various processes before the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa, the Department of Communications and Parliament, including in relation to the Inquiry into Subscription Broadcasting Services, the Review of Must Carry Regulations, the review of the Sports Broadcasting Regulations, the Copyright Amendment Bill and Performers Protection Amendment Bills, the review of the Regulations on Advertising, Infomercials and Sponsorship and the Draft White Paper on Audio and Audiovisual Services.
  • Advising and representing MultiChoice Africa in reviewing and shaping legislative, policy, regulatory and licensing developments in multiple other African countries including, Angola, Botswana, eSwatini, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zanzibar and Zimbabwe.
  • Lead advisor to the second largest mobile network operator in South Africa and the rest of Africa on a wide range of telecommunications and data protection matters.
  • Advising the largest Internet Service Provider in South Africa and the rest of Africa.
  • Advising Telkom on a wide range of matters, including the reforming provisions relating to IMT spectrum licensing and its application to review and set aside the decisions of ICASA to publish the composite invitation to apply for an individual electronic communications network services and frequency spectrum licences for the purpose of operating a wireless open access network (WOAN).
  • Advising Blue Label Telecoms on a number of complex restructuring transactions and associated regulatory and licensing matters.
  • Advising Samsung SA in establishing an online retail sales portal (e-store) for South Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Advising on various agreements and related opinions regarding advertising and broadcasting rights at provincial and international rugby matches.
  • Advising Orlando Pirates Football Club on a range of digital, sponsorship and data protection matters.
  • Advising Switchport (a payment platform that facilitates instant EFT transactions) on all compliance related obligations and risks arising from the development of the Switchport platform, including data protection, technology enablement and best industry practices.
  • Advising Yamaha on electromagnetic compatibility compliance requirements.
  • Advising Hotbake regarding the development and implementation of various policies, processes and procedures in relation to the implementation and rollout of their e-commerce business and service offering.
  • Representing Media 24 in a series of court proceedings, culminating in an appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal, regarding the broadcasting of criminal proceedings, giving rise to the leading South African authority in favour of the proposition that broadcasting court cases is Constitutionally mandated and one of the leading global authorities in favour of broadcasting court cases.

 

 

 

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