AT&T raises $11B for spectrum; Huawei founder Zhengfei rails against spying allegations

Quick news from around the Web.

Auction Watch: After 270 rounds, the last of which included 17 new bids, the FCC's AWS-3 auction has raised a total of $44.862 billion in provisionally winning bids. Page. AWS-3 auction primer.

> Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei reiterated that the company does not participate in spying. Article

> U.S. Cellular said it raised up to $225 million to fund purchases including spectrum purchases. Release

> WhatsApp now offers its messaging services through Google's Chrome web browser. Article

> Ebay cut its workforce by 7 percent. Article

> AT&T said it raised more than $11 billion to fund possible spectrum purchases. Article

> The GSMA said it will open the GSMA Innovation City at the upcoming Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain. Release

> Twitter said it expanded its Digits sign-in service--which allows users to sign into services using their phone number--to the wider Internet. Article

> Huawei said it forgave 4,000 employees for corruption. Article

Wireless Tech News

> The race to be the first to demonstrate and launch 5G is heating up. The latest entrant is SK Telecom which announced today that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Nokia to conduct joint research and development on 5G with the ultimate goal of demonstrating the technology in 2018 and commercially launching it in 2020. Article

> Google has signed on to fund SpaceX, a startup from billionaire and Tesla CEO Elon Musk that could use optical-laser technology to offer high-speed, satellite-based Internet service across the globe. Now, Google and SpaceX stand as a direct counter to a similar effort--OneWeb--that last week received funding from Qualcomm and billionaire Richard Branson. Article

Telecom News

> Windstream has received all of the state regulatory approvals it needs from state public service commissions (PSC) in its territory to move ahead with its planned real estate investment trust (REIT) spinoff. Article

> New York state has put forth the third element of Governor Andrew Cuomo's $1 billion broadband program by creating a $500 million New NY Broadband Program using capital funds from bank settlements in order to give an incentive to the private sector to expand high-speed broadband access in underserved and unserved areas. Article

Cable News

> Comcast has received approval from the FCC for its next-generation Xi4 set-top box, according to a regulatory filing to the agency. Article

> Comcast plans to punctuate its ongoing TV Everywhere promotion campaign with a blowout Super Bowl Sunday, during which it will stream 11 hours of programming to anyone with a compatible IP device, no pay-TV subscription required. Article

And finally… According to former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the iPhone contains secret software that allows governments to spy on users. Article