U.S. creates new agency to lead cyberthreat tracking

Past efforts were stymied by liability issues and privacy concerns

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Calling the destructive cyberattack on Sony Pictures "a game changer," a top White House official on Tuesday announced a new intelligence unit to coordinate analysis of cyberthreats, modeled on similar U.S. government efforts to fight terrorism.

Lisa Monaco, President Barack Obama's homeland security and counterterrorism adviser, said the new agency will rapidly pool and disseminate data on cyberbreaches, which she said are ballooning in size and sophistication, to U.S. agencies.

Vodafone Egypt spending $1.25 billion on network upgrade

Investments to cover equipment, modernizing base stations and creating new coverage areas

Reuters

CAIRO (Reuters) - Vodafone Egypt plans to spend around 9.5 billion Egyptian pounds ($1.25 billion) on upgrading its network over the next three years to keep pace with demand for data services, its CEO said.

Vodafone Egypt, majority owned by British mobile operator Vodafone, is the leading communications player by customer numbers in the country of 90 million.

"Annual investments will represent more than 30 percent of annual revenues," Chief Executive Officer Ahmed Essam told Reuters in an interview.

U.S. bill seeks more Wi-Fi airwaves alongside smart cars

Alliance of Auto Manufacturers and Intelligent Transp Society of America oppose the bill

Reuters

(Reuters) - Two U.S. senators on Tuesday revived legislation that seeks to allocate more airwaves to public Wi-Fi by requiring regulators to quickly test how shared radio frequencies could coexist alongside those used for communications among smart cars.

The bill by Senators Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, and Cory Booker, a New Jersey Democrat, would direct the Federal Communications Commission to study how more spectrum can be freed up for public use without interfering with connected vehicles, which are incumbent users.

Raytheon GPS ground program passes review, delays still possible

Report cites 3-year delay in the operational evaluation of the new ground system to early 2019

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A $1.6 billion ground control system being developed by Raytheon Co for Global Positioning System (GPS)satellites passed a Pentagon review, but will be monitored to ensure it stays on track, a senior Air Force official said on Friday.

Major General Roger Teague, director of space programs for the Air Force acquisition chief, told reporters a "deep dive" review Thursday by chief arms buyer Frank Kendall went well, but program officials and the contractor got "tough marching orders" to stick to schedule and cost targets.

Verizon to sell wireline operations, towers worth $15.6 billion

Continues doubling down on wireless while spending less on broadband

Reuters

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Verizon Communications said it would sell wireline assets to Frontier Communications for $10.54 billion in cash and sell and lease cell phone towers for around $5 billion to American Tower in a deal that will help it pay off recent wireless spectrum purchases.

The transaction is the latest in a series of non-core assets that Verizon has sold in recent months to reduce debt and raise cash for investments.

The Frontier sale is expected to close in the first half of next year and is subject to regulatory approval, the companies said.

SEC probes Blackberry options trading ahead of Reuters report about Samsung talks

Both companies deny they were in talks

Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating a January 14 spike in trading in BlackBerry Ltd options that took place hours before Reuters reported that Samsung Electronics Co was in talks to buy the Canadian smartphone maker, according to a person familiar with the investigation.

One trade the SEC is looking at took place at 12:06 p.m. on that day, when there was a purchase of options with the rights to buy 200,000 shares of BlackBerry stock at a strike price of $10 a share, the person said.

For Google, new FCC rules may bring unfamiliar government oversight

Company says new rules will not affect decision to invest in Fiber

Reuters

SAN FRANCISCO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - One of Google Inc's major business operations could fall under the day-to-day jurisdiction of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission for the first time, potentially subjecting the fast-moving Internet company to regulations it has often criticized.

Aiming to set "net neutrality" rules that guide how Internet service providers manage traffic on their networks, the FCC will vote Feb. 26 on whether to impose tighter regulations by classifying them more like traditional telephone companies.

AT&T top buyer at U.S. airwaves auction; Dish spends big

Demonstrated the voracious appetite for spectrum

Reuters

WASHINGTON/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - AT&T Inc spent close to half the total in the record-setting U.S. sale of airwaves for mobile data, with Dish Network Corp spending heavily to manage a surprise win at No.2 ahead of Verizon, results showed on Friday.

AT&T bid a total of $18.2 billion to win licenses of so-called AWS-3 spectrum. Dish itself did not win any licenses, but had invested in bidding partners SNR Wireless LicenseCo LLC and Northstar Wireless LLC, which bid a total of $13.3 billion.

China's internet population hits 649 million, 86 pct on phones

Huge part of China's potential remains untapped in smaller cities and rural areas

Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - China had 649 million internet users by the end of 2014, with 557 million of those using handsets to go online, said a government report on Tuesday, as the world's biggest smartphone market continues its shift to mobile.

While growth is slowing, China's total internet population still rose by 31 million in 2014, said the report by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC).

Growth in mobile internet users was faster, at 57 million.

Amazon, Sprint may buy some Radioshack stores: Bloomberg

NYSE regulatory arm prepares to delist RadioShack shares

Reuters

(Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc and Sprint Corp are considering acquiring some RadioShack stores after the troubled electronics retailer files for bankruptcy, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge of the discussions.

Amazon has considered using the RadioShack stores as showcases for the Seattle-based company's hardware as well as potential pickup and drop-off centers for online customers, Bloomberg said.

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