Light Reading

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
The New IP is actually bigger even than business. Like another hugely important tech that Light Reading is digging into right now, the New IP has the potential to change the world by fundamentally advancing what it is possible for people to achieve with communications.
Que Sera Sarah
Growth of the 5G Ecosystem

3|6|15   |   1:15   |   (1) comment


Use cases and industry collaborations dominated 5G discussions during Mobile World Congress 2015. For what the road to 5G means for operators and their partners, head to the Building America's 5G Ecosystem event in New York on April 14.
LRTV Custom TV
Sonus NaaS IQ Real-Time Demo

3|6|15   |   4:03   |   (0) comments


Compass Networks Chairman and CEO Matt Bross and Ray Dolin, CEO of Sonus Networks, demonstrate their Sonus IQ SDN solution using a live video conference connection.
LRTV Custom TV
LRTV Talks Carrier WiFi & WiFi Calling With Aptilo Networks

3|6|15   |   4:53   |   (0) comments


We stopped by Aptilo Networks, a market leader in WiFi service management and offloading, to discuss the new possibilities with next-generation WiFi calling and why WiFi should be a natural part of any operator strategy.
LRTV Interviews
NGMN Chairman Outlines His 5G Vision

3|6|15   |   5:10   |   (1) comment


Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, chairman of the NGMN Alliance and Deutsche Telekom CTO, shares his thoughts on the challenges, opportunities and costs of 5G.
LRTV Interviews
In the Cloud With Telecom Italia

3|5|15   |   7:10   |   (0) comments


Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders sits down with Telecom Italia's Simone Battiferri at Mobile World Congress to discuss virtualization, agility and the economic advantages of the cloud.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
New Ways of Working

3|5|15   |   4:24   |   (0) comments


At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Hong Kong Telecom's Michael Yue explains how the transformation in its business has changed its customer relationships.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bridging the Digital Gap

3|5|15   |   4:03   |   (0) comments


At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Boingo's Dr. Derek Peterson explains how ICT can help telcos bring the physical and virtual worlds closer together.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Making the Internet of Things Affordable

3|5|15   |   2:42   |   (0) comments


At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Telefonica's Dr. Mike Short explains how the Internet of Things demands a new low-cost approach to connectivity from telcos.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Evolution, Not Revolution

3|5|15   |   2:00   |   (0) comments


At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan explains why telcos can't be too hasty in their efforts to transform themselves.
LRTV Custom TV
Management & Orchestration Enablement Strategies Required for NFV Commercial Success

3|5|15   |   6:22   |   (0) comments


NFV commercial success rests on successful service orchestration strategies which can span heterogeneous physical, virtual, legacy and next-gen networks. Network data and security integrity are additional key aspects. Nakina provides a suite of orchestratable network integrity applications built on an open, scalable MANO enablement platform.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Power of Five Convergences in OceanStor OS

3|4|15   |   6:24   |   (0) comments


OceanStor OS is Huawei's brand-new storage operating system. While inheriting the consistent high stability, reliability and performance from the company's previous storage products, OceanStor OS abounds in new converged storage features. Specifically, the new storage operating system achieves "five convergences" to lift storage convergence to a higher level.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
4K Brings Extreme Video Experience

3|4|15   |   8:10   |   (0) comments


4K video is a hot topic in the video industry. It will certainly bring an extreme video experience to end users. At the same time, however, it will also pose a big challenge to operators. Check out this Huawei 4K experts' discussion about how operators can achieve success in 4K video service.
Upcoming Live Events
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Net neutrality, broadband services and the current outlook on data consumption, as presented by the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Hot Topics
Internet Pioneers Decry Title II Rules
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/2/2015
Wheeler: We'll Enforce Title II 'Case-By-Case'
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 3/3/2015
New CenturyLink CTO in Major Overhaul
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/4/2015
Alibaba 'Planting a Flag' in US Cloud Market
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 3/4/2015
Few in Number, Big in Data
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 3/2/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Chattanooga’s EPB publicly owned utility comms company has become a poster child for how to enable a local economy using next-gen networking technology. Steve Saunders, Founder of Light Reading, sits down with Harold DePriest, president and CEO of EPB, to learn how EPB is bringing big time tech to small town America.
Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders talks transformation and virtualization – including Light Reading's independent testing of the vendor's virtualization solutions – with Cisco CEO John Chambers at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Check out Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, and Universal, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he had to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.
G'day! And welcome to an entirely new feature on Light Reading -- our weekly "CEO-to-CEO" interview.