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Intriguing Google acquisition hints at big wireless carrier ambitions

We’ve known for a while now that Google has been toying around with becoming a wireless service provider and a new acquisition spotted by GeekWire gives us some more evidence that the company is looking to get into this market in a big way. Apparently, Google recently acquired Alpental, a small startup that was founded by two former Clearwire engineers named Pete Gelbman and Mike Hart. The company was never exactly well known outside of tech circles but GeekWire says that before it got scooped up by Google, it “was developing technologies related to 5G, the next generation wireless network” that “could have applications in connecting fiber to the home and… Google’s municipal wi-fi offerings.”

Earlier this year, we learned that Google has reportedly had talks with both Verizon and Sprint to buy access to their wireless networks that it will then sell to consumers as a wholesale provider. Additionally, a report from The Information speculated that this would only be part of Google’s plan to get into wireless and that the company would rely primarily on using Wi-Fi calling made through Google Fiber Wi-Fi hotspots as its primary method of transmitting calls.

Regardless, we’ll be sure to look out for more wireless acquisitions in the coming months that might give us a better picture for what Google’s ambitions in this market really are.

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.