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
Is your network built on 'The Old IP,' or are you part of 'The New IP' revolution?
LRTV Documentaries
Back Office Is Vital for Broadband Evolution

10|2|14   |   02:08   |   (0) comments


The future success of fixed broadband services depends as much on the service provider IT capabilities as new network hardware.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Innovating Access Technology With G.fast

10|1|14   |   3.42   |   (0) comments


Exploring the potential of G.fast technology from the point of view of the Broadband Forum, Huawei – and an end-user.
LRTV Documentaries
A Cultural Shift for an OTT World

9|26|14   |   01:41   |   (3) comments


Telcos need to embrace a new approach to partnerships if they are to generate extra revenues quickly and give customers what they want.
LRTV Documentaries
New Skills Needed as Telecom, IT Collide

9|26|14   |   4:07   |   (1) comment


As telecom and IT collide, new technologies are emerging, new skills are needed and new opportunities for women are arising.
UBB Forum News
Do IP Networks Need An Overhaul?

9|25|14   |   02:01   |   (0) comments


As traffic levels ramp, do IP networks need new technologies and topologies?
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint Wields Its Influence in the Valley

9|25|14   |   3:09   |   (11) comments


Anne-Louise Kardas, Sprint's connection to startups in the Valley, explains how telcos can be innovative and find new opportunities with partners.
LRTV Documentaries
SDN, NFV & The Future of XO's Network

9|25|14   |   3:47   |   (1) comment


XO Communications COO Don MacNeil explains how cloud, SDN and NFV are altering its network requirements as well as changing data centers of the future.
UBB Forum News
The OTT Conundrum

9|24|14   |   01:39   |   (0) comments


What is holding back prosperous partnerships between telcos and the OTT players?
LRTV Documentaries
Putting Broadband to Work

9|24|14   |   01:26   |   (0) comments


High-speed broadband network rollout is key to telco strategies, but it's what happens after the network is built that counts.
Light Reedy
Light Reading's Women in Telecom Recap

9|24|14   |   0:55   |   (4) comments


Our first Women in Telecom breakfast was a huge success, and we hope you'll join us in London for the next event on November 6.
UBB Forum News
Monetizing Ultra-Broadband

9|24|14   |   01:43   |   (2) comments


Ultra-broadband networks need to be built, with fiber-to-the-premises the ultimate goal, but they need to be monetized, too.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sales Director of INIT on Plug & Play Switch Devices

9|19|14   |   3:21   |   (0) comments


INIT Italy uses both the Huawei S5700 and S7700 series switches for the campus LAN environment. Sales Director Andrea Curti says their company chose these Huawei devices over others because of their performance, flexible scalability and plug-and-play features.
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
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
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Half of the world's population will be connected to the Internet by 2017, but not just by smartphones and desktops.
Hot Topics
Facebook Pokes Around LTE Direct
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/25/2014
Is Redbox Instant Shutting Down?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 9/30/2014
Comcast Turns Off Streampix
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 9/26/2014
SoftBank Eyes a DreamWorks Buy – Report
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/29/2014
Telecom Sector 'Its Own Worst Enemy' – Kroes
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 10/2/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed