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

Verizon Exponent Brings AI, IoT, Cloud and Digital Transformation Services to Carrier Community

Verizon launched a range of new offerings dubbed Exponent that target other carriers yesterday. But they’re not your garden-variety connectivity services. Instead, Verizon Exponent is what Verizon calls a “portfolio of software and internet platforms designed to enable carriers around the world to quickly deploy and launch next-generation solutions.” In an interview, Verizon Exponent Vice...Learn More

FCC Adopts $453M Mobility Fund, CAF Auction Weighting Factors for Rural Broadband Support

Updated later February 23 with additional information from the FCC The FCC today voted to establish a mobility fund as part of broader plans to transition the traditional Universal Service Fund (USF) program to a Connect America Fund (CAF) program that will focus on broadband for remote rural areas. In addition, the commission established weighting...Learn More

FCC LTE-U Authorization Paves Way for T-Mobile Gigabit LTE

The FCC said yesterday that it had authorized some LTE-U devices for use in unlicensed portions of the 5 GHz band. T-Mobile wasted no time in making its own announcement saying it is now deploying LTE-U in its network with the goal of having service available this spring. As a result of the FCC LTE-U...Learn More

Indiana Fiber Network, 365 Data Centers Deal Supports Local Telecom Ethernet Opportunities

An Indiana Fiber Network, 365 Data Centers deal announced yesterday was driven in part by local telecom Ethernet opportunities, said August Zehner, vice president of sales and marketing for IFN in an interview. IFN is a statewide Indiana fiber network owned by 20 local exchange carriers in the state. 365 Data Centers is a data...Learn More

AT&T Testing Cell Site Drones for Disaster Recovery, Festivals and More

AT&T has been testing the use of drone-mounted radios and antennas to augment its cellular network in the case of a natural or manmade disaster or for certain other use cases, said Art Pregler, AT&T drone project director, in an interview with Telecompetitor. The company calls the cell site drones “flying COWs,” borrowing the acronym...Learn More

Shentel MIMO Trial Yields Up to 5x Wireless Bandwidth Boost

A new technology known as massive MIMO has the potential to help urban and rural wireless carriers substantially improve the performance of current mobile infrastructure through an antenna change. In a recent Shentel MIMO trial in Woodstock, Va, the regional wireless carrier saw massive MIMO technology yield bandwidth gains of up to 20 times for...Learn More

Anti-Municipal Broadband Legislation Progresses at State Level

Anti-municipal broadband bills are currently making their way through legislatures in at least two states, while efforts in a third state to reverse anti-municipal broadband legislation have stalled. In Virginia, the House of Delegates February 7 voted to pass HB 2108. And although the bill has gone through several iterations that have softened it somewhat,...Learn More

RWA: Mobility Fund Phase II Could Leave Some Areas Without Service

Some rural areas could be left without wireless service if the FCC approves the latest proposal for the Connect America Mobility Fund Phase II, cautions the Rural Wireless Association. Some wireless carriers in high-cost rural areas currently receive funding through the traditional high-cost universal service fund, which also covers landline carriers, but moving forward the...Learn More

AT&T LTE-M Internet of Things Network to Be Nationwide by 2Q

AT&T said its LTE-M Internet of Things (IoT) network will be available nationwide by the end of second quarter. That’s ahead of schedule, the company said. The news follows successful testing with a pilot network launched in California in October. Since then AT&T has added an additional testing site in Columbus, Ohio. The company said...Learn More

Fiber Vs. Fixed 5G Report: Fiber More Economical in Rural Areas

Fixed 5G wireless is not a substitute for wireline broadband, argues telecom engineering and consulting firm Vantage Point Solutions in a technical paper filed with the FCC by NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association. Broadband delivery methods based on fiber to the premises (FTTP) generally are more economical in rural areas, according to the fiber...Learn More

TV Broadcast Spectrum Reverse Auction Yields $19.6B for 600 MHz Mobile Broadband Spectrum

The “clock phase” of the TV broadcast spectrum reverse auction was completed Friday, explained FCC Chairman Ajit Pai in a statement. A total of 84 MHz of spectrum will now be released into the broadband marketplace, Pai said. According to news reports, the total of winning bids came to $19.6 billion. The identities of wireless...Learn More

Verizon Exec Outlines Digital Transformation Revenue Opportunities for Carriers

Major enterprises today are embracing the concept of digital transformation in much the same way that they embraced the concept of virtualization a few years ago. The goal is to use the cloud, mobility and other advanced technologies to transform business processes to gain a competitive edge. We talked recently with Scott Eason, vice president...Learn More