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Google Buys Alpental To Extend Its Fiber Service Reach

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Google (GOOG - Get Report) is looking toward the future delivery of its high-speed fiber Internet/television service in what some industry analysts believe is Google's next step in the evolution of the company, controlling the entire experience of Internet delivery and search in one company.

Google recently purchased a wireless start-up called Alpental Technologies to help bring it to the next level. Seattle area-based Alpental is run by two former Clearwire engineers Peter Gelbman and Mike Hart.Outside of the industry not much is known about exactly what Alpental was developing but the small company was believed to be working on the next-generation of 5G wireless technologies.

Company spokesperson Tim Drinan told TheStreet Google was excited to welcome the Alpental team, but would not offer any other details or comments about the deal.

Google shares were losing 0.21% to $553.71 in early New York trading.

Google is already in the business of delivering high-speed Internet, via its Google Fiber service. Google's Fiber service offers high-speed Internet connections, as much as 100 times faster than broadband connections via Google Fiber. It is currently available in Austin, Kansas City and Provo, Utah and has announced plans to expand into as many as 35 cities including Portland, San Jose, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, and several others.

Here's Where Google Fiber Is Coming Next

Currently, Google's high-speed service uses what it calls "Fiber Huts" to bring underground services into large neighborhoods. After that, the cables runs along utility poles into homes and offices. Next-generation 5G wireless could help to simplify "last mile" delivery in the future.

Chris Antlitz, senior analyst at Technology Business Research, says Google is already working on fixed and wireless services in its labs and is currently testing technologies such as satellite, high-altitude balloons, fiber optical cables and Wi-fi hotspots as ways to extend low-cost Internet connectivity to as many customers a possible. Antlitz thinks whatever projects Alpental has been working on will be folded into Google's lab ecosystem.

Following recent rumors that Google has been in discussion with Verizon (VZ) and Sprint (S) to purchase excess capacity, 4G wireless bandwidth at discount rates, the company could soon become a MNVO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator). Antlitz adds Google may be creating a "hybrid patchwork" of Internet services to incorporate these methods of distributing Internet services.

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Industry analyst Jeff Kagan believes the reason Google acquired Alpental is clear. "Google wants to lead in very fast, 5G wireless services, period," Kagan said in an interview. "Google shocked the industry when it entered the high speed Internet space a few short years ago. However they have been successful to date and it looks like now they have every intention on expanding their offerings. Wireless networks have been getting faster over the years as they moved from 2G to 3G to 4G and we are just starting to talk about the next step... 5G."

-- Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

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Gary Krakow is TheStreet's Senior Technology Correspondent.

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