Posts by Joan Engebretson

Joan Engebretson is Executive Editor of Telecompetitor. Joan has been writing about telecommunications since 1992. She has been editor-in-chief of two telecom industry publications—Telephony Magazine and America’s Network Magazine.

Under Engebretson’s leadership, America’s Network won several awards from the American Society of Business Publication Editors, including a 2001 national gold award for her commentary. In 2009, she won best on-line column in min’s Editorial and Design Awards.

Engebretson has a BA in journalism and an MBA from the University of Michigan.

Joan can be reached at

$4.8 Billion Verizon Yahoo Purchase Shows Carrier Determined Not To Be a “Dumb Pipe”

After weeks of speculation, the Verizon Yahoo purchase was announced today as a “definitive agreement” requiring regulatory and shareholder approvals. The deal, valued at $4.83 billion, is the latest and perhaps biggest step in Verizon’s mobile content strategy. The Verizon Yahoo purchase “will put Verizon in a highly competitive position as a top global mobile...Learn More

Verizon Virtual Network Services Quite Similar to AT&T Network Functions on Demand

Verizon Virtual Network Services, launched today, will give customers “around the globe” the ability to download a range of network functions to generic premises-based hardware, Verizon said. The news came just days after AT&T announced a similar offering, which it calls “Network Functions on Demand.” Both offerings are underpinned by software defined networking (SDN) and...Learn More

Report: Two Paths Emerging for Voice Network Virtualization

It wasn’t so long ago that VoIP and softswitches appeared to be the future for telecom voice networks. But much of that equipment already is due for replacement – and rather than deploying more of the same, service providers increasingly are looking at voice network virtualization, according to new research conducted by Heavy Reading for...Learn More

Verizon NG-PON2 Testing Sets Up Move to Next Generation 10 Gbps FTTP

Verizon said yesterday that it will test NG-PON2 technology from Adtran and Calix with an eye toward upgrading to the new technology, which can support symmetrical speeds as high as 10 Gbps or higher per customer. The Verizon NG-PON2 news is important because the company already has deployed passive optical network infrastructure in numerous markets...Learn More

C Spire 5G Demo Highlights 5G Interest Beyond Big Four

C Spire said today that it successfully demonstrated 5G fixed wireless technology using spectrum in the 28 GHz band. The C Spire 5G news raises the question of whether we will see more companies outside the Big Four nationwide wireless carriers taking a more active role in 5G development than they have with previous generations...Learn More

AT&T Network Functions on Demand Lets Enterprises Download Routers in 76 Countries

AT&T remains very active on the software defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) fronts. And as an announcement Sunday about AT&T Network Functions on Demand illustrates, the company sees strong potential for the technology internationally. AT&T Network Functions on Demand will let the company ship generic hardware to enterprise customers in any of...Learn More

Qualified 600 MHz Auction Bidders Include 28 Companies with Rural Wireless Bidding Credits

Twenty-eight companies with rural wireless bidding credits are on the FCC’s list of approved bidders for the upcoming auction of TV broadcast spectrum in the 600 MHz band. As expected, three of the four major national wireless carriers – AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon but not Sprint – are on the approved bidder list. U.S. Cellular,...Learn More

Strong Industry Support for Obama $400 Million Advanced Wireless Research Initiative

Four city-wide initiatives will be a key part of President Obama’s Advanced Wireless Research Initiative (AWRI), announced today. The initiative, which has the support of numerous communications companies and communications industry organizations, aims to spur the development of technology to support fifth generation wireless networks. The move came just one day after the FCC voted...Learn More

AT&T Drones for LTE Program Hopes to Enhance LTE Coverage

AT&T is getting serious about drones for LTE, which the company anticipates making part of its telecom infrastructure in the future. The company this week launched the AT&T Drone Program aimed at exploring how drones could benefit the company and its customers. “Possible uses include Flying COWs (Cells on Wings) providing LTE coverage at large...Learn More

Traditional Phone Service Phase Out Rules Adopted by FCC with Demanding Requirements

After years of debate, the telecom industry’s technology transition is finally underway, dictating a traditional phone service phase out plan. The commission today voted to adopt rules designed to transition “switched access” service in FCC parlance to more modern technology. In establishing new rules, however, the commission imposed some demanding requirements. For example, any replacement...Learn More

Senate Broadband Caucus Aims to Improve Rural Broadband

Senators from rural states are taking a lot of interest in broadband these days. Just one day after a group of 26 senators  sent a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler asking him to take action on a Universal Service broadband mobility fund some of the same senators yesterday launched what they are calling the...Learn More

Senators Want USF Mobility Fund to Target Croplands

A bi-partisan group of 26 senators is asking the FCC to establish new parameters for a USF mobility fund that would target broadband availability in croplands “or some other geographic measurement.” The goal would be to better support precision agriculture technology aimed at enhancing productivity and environmental sustainability. “These technologies are transforming U.S. agriculture as...Learn More