Light Reading
Google has bought a millimeter wave radio startup founded by ex-Clearwire execs that may give it table stakes in the future of 5G.

Google Buys Alpental for Potential 5G Future

Dan Jones
6/23/2014
50%
50%

Google has bought an early-stage millimeter wave radio startup, potentially positioning itself for a future in 5G and super-speedy WiFi.

Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) revealed last week that it has acquired Alpental Technologies Inc. for an undisclosed sum. The Bothell, Wash.-based startup was founded in November 2012 by ex-Clearwire execs -- Peter Gelbman and Mike Hart -- and had raised around $850,000 in funding.

Former T-Mobile US Inc. CTO Cole Brodman is listed as an investor and adviser for Alpental. Broadman's LinkedIn page describes the company as "a Start-up focused on next generation wireless backhaul."

Gelbman, on his LinkedIn profile, meanwhile, describes the startup as developing a "hyper scalable mmWave networking solution for dense urban nextGen 5G & WiFi -- at the form factor & cost of an iPod." The company is known to be using 60GHz radio technology as the backbone for its developments.

Millimeter wave (mmWave) radios ride on frequencies from 30GHz to 300GHz. The technology is expected to become part of both next-generation 5G and WiFi technology. Carriers and vendors have started some early experiments using the technology for super-fast transmissions of data. (See DoCoMo Unveils 5G Trial Plans and Samsung: Inching Toward 5G?)

Gelbman and Hart's positions at Google are to be determined.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

(9)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
8/12/2014 | 3:59:26 PM
Re: iPod?
Yep
spassmeister
50%
50%
spassmeister,
User Rank: Light Beer
8/12/2014 | 3:18:15 PM
Re: iPod?
QUALCOMM's purchase of WiLOCITY and more activity win WiGIG indicates that the bigger players are planning for us in the band for high capacity.  This band also has products from ranging from firms like BridgeWave for backhaul to Vizio for us in HDTV indoors.  Like 2.4 GHz, it will fill many roles. 
Liz Greenberg
50%
50%
Liz Greenberg,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/26/2014 | 1:10:41 PM
Re: iPod?
I know Dan...I just remember when we were first deploying all the fiber and folks would ask our radio expert (yep he wrote books) "why bother? radio can do it" He always answered about the downsides of radio (fiber has downsides too, cost being a large one) but the biggest were capacity, line of sight, and wave perturbation issues. Living in a hilly area, radio waves get bounced like they are riding a tsunami.

Radio is a huge necessity but when I think of backhaul, I think of distance.  When I think of distance, my mind wanders to fiber in the long term.  No cloudy days to block transmission.
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
6/26/2014 | 11:36:37 AM
Re: iPod?
There just isn't enough fiber deployed to support the distributed RAN concepts that come with LTE -Advanced and future 5G ideas though. More will get deployed, no doubt, but it will unlikely be enough.

 

That's why we're seeing more and more of these super fast radio backhaul startups popping up.
Liz Greenberg
50%
50%
Liz Greenberg,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/25/2014 | 5:09:18 PM
Re: iPod?
I agree Dan...but only at shorter, uninterrupted distances.  Fiber is the future just because of all the places it can go and the amount of traffic it can carry but having said that, it isn't the cheapest most flexible alternative for these types of applications.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out with Google.  Maybe they will use it for the final mile to get to customers who are already on their fiber networks?  If so, they could basically eliminate any of the other local service providers such as cable, telco, etc.  Just thinking out loud!
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
6/23/2014 | 3:24:09 PM
Re: iPod?
Yep, I've heard of backhaul stuff at 30GHz, 60GHz & 80GHz recently. Definitely interesting as a possible alt to fiber.
fgoldstein
50%
50%
fgoldstein,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/23/2014 | 3:11:46 PM
Re: iPod?
60 GHz stuff is already on the market -- WiGig uses it, for instance, and there are a few consumer-type devices beginning to use it. Vendors already have semiconductors that work on the 60 and 80 GHz bands.

The 60 GHz band is unlicensed.  It is the peak absorption frequency of oxygen (dry air), so you start with 14 dB/km of attenuation at sea level, which keeps it local.  That also keeps it from interfering with the Primary user, satellite to satellite links (the atmosphere is a nice insulator).  Rain fade can be pretty bad too.  The FCC allows unlicensed transmitters to use up to 1 watt output with 52 dB antenna gain (that's one narrow beam!) but it's still really only useful for shots of a mile or less.  But gigabit speeds there are the norm.

So if you don't have to go through obstacles like walls, water, or air, it's a great band, and, seriously, it is going to become quite popular.
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/23/2014 | 12:33:16 PM
5G, Ready or Not
Yes, it's probably five or more years away from commercial deployment, but it's not too early to crank up the whiteboards for 5G.
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
6/23/2014 | 12:01:27 PM
iPod?
How would you get a 60GHz radio product in something the size of an iPod, I wonder? 
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Rick Talbot, Principal Analyst, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   2:12   |   (0) comments


At the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, Rick Talbot shared his positive feedback about the holistic and open approach that Huawei adopts for SDN and NFV. He also found the open sharing at the event valuable as it features different perspectives from Huawei experts, telecom operators, industry analysts as well as security experts.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With David Snow, Principal Analyst, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   2:24   |   (0) comments


David Snow talked about his understanding of Huawei and its SoftCOM strategy at the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, saying that Huawei's wide approach combining IT and CT expertise, introducing big data and analytics into solutions and contributing to the OpenStack community particularly resonate with him and make the company stand out in the industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Roz Roseboro, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

10|31|14   |   3:13   |   (0) comments


Roz Roseboro commented on Huawei's data center capabilities and NFV solutions at the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, saying that in addition to covering all three key domains of compute, storage and networking, the company also emphasizes the importance of management capabilities and professional services, which are essential in making NFV a reality.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Michael Howard, Co-founder & Principal Analyst, Infonetics Research

10|31|14   |   5:25   |   (0) comments


Michael Howard talked about SDN, NFV, and OpenStack adoption at Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014. Particularly, he pointed out that Virtual Enterprise CPE is the top NFV use case that operators plan to invest in over 2014 and 2015 to deliver new enterprise services through virtualized functions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Jerry Caron, Senior Vice President, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   3:11   |   (0) comments


At Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, Jerry Caron from Current Analysis said that orchestration and management are key to realizing SDN and NFV for global carriers, and the approach that Huawei is taking, with its FusionSphere Cloud OS at the core, is in the right direction to address the challenges.
LRTV Documentaries
Broadband Battles

10|31|14   |   01:39   |   (0) comments


This year's Broadband World Forum featured a number of show floor battles focused on access gear, components and coffee.
Jonestown
Mobile Backhaul: Going to the Dark Side?

10|30|14   |   2:26   |   (1) comment


Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan shares his view on a dark trend that bubbled up at Light Reading's annual backhaul conference in NYC.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With CEO of SwitchCom

10|30|14   |   4:13   |   (0) comments


SwitchCom, an IT company based in Angola, recommends a variety of Huawei solutions and hardware to their customers in the energy industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy

10|30|14   |   4:08   |   (0) comments


Gosaye Mengistie of Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy discusses the collaboration with Huawei in that country.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Dongfang Electronics Corporation

10|30|14   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Dongfang Electronics Corporation, headquartered in Chengdu, China, is one of China's largest manufacturers of power generators and contractors of power station projects.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Zimbabwe's Customers

10|30|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


Representatives of Zimbabwe's Ministry of Power and Development discuss the energy needs of their country as well as new areas of improvement due to enhanced ICT capabilities.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Colbún Chile

10|30|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


In Chile, an aging energy infrastructure was in dire need of a modern update. Claudio Valenzuela of Colbún discusses how Huawei's ICT solutions continue to provide crucial information to improve the grid and how an in-country engineer is a cricial asset.
Upcoming Live Events
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 30, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Microsoft's Skype Embraces WebRTC on IE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/27/2014
FTC Slaps AT&T With Throttling Lawsuit
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/28/2014
Wheeler Gets Down With OTT
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/29/2014
China's MVNOs Hit the Wall
Robert Clark, 10/27/2014
Let's Not Kill SDN & NFV With Silos
Francois Locoh-Donou, Senior VP, Global Products Group, Ciena, 10/28/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed