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June 24, 2014

Is Google working on 5G?

The search engine firm buys startup Alpental for undisclosed amount.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

Google has bought a networking firm called Alpental Technologies for an undisclosed amount, as the search engine giant puts part of its efforts into 5G cellular technology.

The firm reportedly confirmed weeks ago that it acquired the Seattle-based startup, though it provided no additional information.

"I can confirm that we’re excited to welcome the Alpental team to Google, and that they joined a few weeks back, but we don’t have any other details to share," a Google spokesperson told online publication GeekWire.

Alpental was founded by CEO Pete Gelbman and Mike Hart, both former Cleanwire engineers, who have developed a high-speed networking technology that runs on the 60GHz spectrum band, according to a letter written to the Federal Communications Commission last year.

Its LinkedIn profile page states: "Startup developing a new self-organising, ultra low-power Gigabit wireless technology to extend fibre optics. Hyper-scalable MMWave networking solution for dense urban next-gen 5G and WiFi – at the form factor and cost of an iPod."

The merger follows a string of startup companies bought by Google this year. Its $3.2bn buyout of Nest Labs, which makes smart digital thermostats and smoke alarms, was its most high-profile deal this year.

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