Google acquires 5G firm Alpental Technologies

If there’s any company which relies on the web, it’s Google. The giant started life as a search engine and is now behind some of the world’s most popular services, such as YouTube and Gmail, and has even begun to roll-out its own high-speed internet service under the name of Google Fiber.

It’s in Google’s interests to get as many people online as possible, and so beyond becoming an ISP themselves, the company has invested heavily in various different schemes to provide internet access to as many people as possible. The most notable of these investments is ‘Project Loon’ which uses air balloons to deliver such access to remote, hard-to-reach areas.

Google has bought a small 5G cellular technology company called Alpental Technologies. The deal was complete weeks ago but it was decided to be kept under-wraps for the time being and Google refuses to say any specifics about what they have in mind for their newly-acquired asset.

We can speculate at least some consideration is being given to a Google mobile network as an expansion to Google Fiber, and perhaps to boost the already unstoppable rise of Android-powered devices. Of course, over the years Google has invested significant money into various network technologies which will never see the light of day. The talent still remains however and may be the influence to the company’s next big breakthrough.

Alpental means “Alpine Valley” in German and was started by a couple of Clearwire engineers, Michael Hart and Pete Gelbman. The twosome developed a high-speed networking technology which runs on the 60 GHz spectrum band.

The 60GHz spectrum has been used to connect buildings up to a mile apart at speeds of up to 7GB/s which saves on the cost of laying physical optical lines.  Most broadband Internet services offer much slower speeds, below one gigabit per second.

On his LinkedIn profile, Gelbman described Alpental’s product as a “self-organizing, ultra-low power Gigabit wireless technology” that extends the reach of fiber-optic networks. It was designed for dense urban areas and to work with next-generation 5G wireless networks and Wi-Fi, he wrote.

Google’s Fiber Internet service is currently available in Kansas City and is bringing the same service to Austin, Tex. and Provo, Utah. The company is considering Google Fiber in 34 other areas dependent on demand, and had said back in April that it wants to add Wi-Fi to extend the range of its Google Fiber services.

Do you think we’ll ever see a Google 5G mobile network? Let us know in the comments.

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