The Washington Post

The Circuit: AT&T/T-Mobile, Sprint bringing WiMax to prepaid, Spectrum committee

AT&T, T-Mobile transfer approved: The Federal Communications Commission Wednesday approved the transfer of AT&T spectrum to T-Mobile, tying off a loose end to the companies’ failed attempt at a merger. The spectrum was part of the “breakup fee” AT&T was obligated to pay to T-Mobile once the deal fell through.

In a statement, T-Mobile chief technology officer Neville Ray said, “We applaud the FCC for acting swiftly to approve the transfer of these spectrum licenses. Securing this additional spectrum was a key catalyst for our plans to launch LTE in 2013 and is therefore good news for our customers.”

Sprint firing up WiMax for prepaids: In an earnings call Wednesday, Sprint said that it will turn on its 4G WiMax network operating for its prepaid companies — Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile.

Steve Elfman, Sprint’s president of network operations, said that the change will take place in the next quarter. The switch should provide some relief for the 3G network. Sprint added more prepaid customers — 489,000 net — than contract customers in the last quarter.

Spectrum committee: Reps. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) have appointed leaders to a bipartisan Working Group to investigate how best to improve and use federal spectrum.

Reps Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.) and Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) will co-chair the group. Three Republicans and three Democrats round it out.

CISPA cybersecurity: The American Civil Liberties Union said that it does not support a proposed privacy amendment to the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), The Hill reported, saying that the proposed changes do not “fix fundamental problems” in the bill.

The Center for Democracy and Technology, another vocal critic of the measure said that while it believes the bill falls short addressing the concern over “use of information for purposes unrelated to cybersecurity,” it will not oppose the bill moving forward in the House.

“We will focus on the amendments and subsequently on the Senate,” the organization said.

Apple earnings: Apple reported first-quarter earnings of $39.2 billion, driven by sales of its iPhone and iPad tablet.

The company sold 35.1 million iPhones in the quarter that ended March 31, beating analyst estimates, and also sold 11.8 million iPad sales, about 1 million short of analysts’ expectations.

Apple shares jumped nearly 9 percent in Wednesday trading after the computer giant announced Tuesday evening that iPhone sales had boosted revenue to $39.2 billion in another blockbuster quarter.

By early afternoon, Apple stock was trading at $611.09 — up 9.05 percent, or $50.72 a share.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.



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