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        ADD A COMMENT
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
Network architects aiming to upgrade their networks to support agile, open, virtualized services in the 21st century need to consider new criteria when choosing between technology suppliers.
Live Streaming Video
BTE 2015 Sponsor Keynote: HP
Dr. Prodip Sen, CTO, Network Functions Virtualization, HP
LRTV Custom TV
Red Hat Demo

7|2|15   |   10:53   |   (0) comments


Red Hat's Nicolas Lemieux demonstrates how Red Hat is driving innovation through open source communities.
LRTV Custom TV
Red Hat's Approach to OpenStack Adoption

7|2|15   |   5:17   |   (0) comments


Red Hat's Radhesh Balakrishnan outlines his company's open source strategy for both enterprises and telcos.
LRTV Custom TV
The New IP Goes Mobile With vEPC

7|2|15   |   1:12   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Gabriel Brown discusses results of a Light Reading survey sponsored by Brocade that shows a clear commitment by mobile operators to move quickly to virtual EPC deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Making Business Sense of SDN

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Results of a Brocade-sponsored survey show that CSPs have a clear sense of SDN use cases but are wrestling with the business case. Sterling Perrin of Heavy Reading looks behind the numbers.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Will Be Here Sooner Than You Think

7|2|15   |   2:22   |   (0) comments


Forget the usual ten-year cycle for new technologies – NFV will be a core part of CSP networks in five years, based on results of a Brocade-sponsored survey, says Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell.
LRTV Custom TV
The New IP Gains Traction With CSPs

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Roz Roseboro of Heavy Reading analyzes results of a Light Reading survey sponsored by Brocade showing that CSPs are getting serious about making the transition to the New IP era.
LRTV Custom TV
It's (Real) Time for Analytics

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Jim Hodges looks at how CSPs say they plan to use analytics to deploy new services in real time as part of The New IP, based on results of a survey sponsored by Brocade.
LRTV Documentaries
IoT in Action

6|30|15   |   1:39   |   (7) comments


Two co-workers discuss the benefits of IoT technology.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson Opens Up on OPNFV

6|30|15   |   14:16   |   (1) comment


Martin Bäckström, VP and head of industry area Datacom at Ericsson, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the emergence of OPNFV, the importance of standards and Ericsson's OPNFV plans.
LRTV Custom TV
NetNumber Founder Discusses NFV/SDN Impact on SP Networks

6|26|15   |   4:15   |   (0) comments


NetNumber Founder Doug Ranalli examines why SPs need a new network infrastructure for service agility. While NFV and SDN are the tools, the old ways of thinking about signaling control are inhibitors. Doug provides his recommendations.
LRTV Custom TV
Orchestrating NFV vCPE Services Across Multivendor Networks

6|26|15   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Nirav Modi provides an overview of vCPE, the fastest-growing NFV use case, showing how Cyan's Blue Planet orchestrates vCPE services across a multivendor infrastructure to rapidly deliver new managed services for business customers.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE at LTE Summit Amsterdam 2015

6|26|15   |     |   (0) comments


As one of the leading global telecommunications providers, ZTE presented its cutting-edge technology at LTE World Summit 2015 in Amsterdam. On display at ZTE's booth were the latest R&D achievements in wireless, 5G development, HetNet, deep convergence of FDD and TDD, and RCS/IMD/iSDN/vCN.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Who's Feeding Fiber to LinkNYC Hotspots?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/29/2015
Colt to Jettison Ailing IT Business
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/30/2015
Eurobites: Activist Investor Takes Stake in AlcaLu
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 6/30/2015
What's a Gigabit Good For?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/1/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Casa Systems has been going from strength to strength over the last couple of years. In 2013, it became the first vendor to ship an integrated CCAP device -- the ...
Cedrik Neike, SVP of Global Service Provider, Service Delivery, at Cisco, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about solving service provider customer problems in a virtualized, DevOps world, including multivendor support and the future of network procurement.
Cats with Phones