Is Google Going 5G?

Google recently purchases a small company specializing in 5G and Wi-Fi technologies -- the kind of tech Google could use for its fiber network.

Jun 23, 2014 at 9:20AM

Last week it was reported Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) purchased of a small company, Alpental Technologies, that's working on 5G wireless network connections. While Google kept the acquisition quiet, there may be some big opportunities Alpental's technology could open up for Google -- specifically, with the company's Google Fiber ambitions.

Skimpy on the details, heavy on the speed
According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, Alpental was working on a way to utilize the 60GHz band of wireless spectrum to deliver cheap, high-speed Internet.

Last summer the FCC opened up the wireless spectrum between 57-64 GHz, allowing wireless broadband to be sent via the spectrum at a distance up to one mile and at speeds up to 7Gbps. This would make Alpental's technology an ideal way for Google to boost its gigabit Fiber network. The company's tech can be used with 5G networks (the next iteration in wireless after 4G) as well as Wi-Fi, which could result in Google having to put less fiber in the ground, while still expanding its network.

Google isn't saying much about the acquisition though, only offering up to GeekWire that it 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."

Why this matters
Google has made it clear that it wants to expand its Google Fiber network and bring the service to more areas of the U.S. Right now Fiber is only offered in Kansas City, Missouri, Provo, Utah, and soon Austin, Texas -- with more than 30 other cities potentially receiving the high-speed Internet in the future.

Google believes if it can offer people ultrafast Internet at competitive prices, then it can potentially offer users more of Google's apps and services, and bring in more ad revenue. Google has said it wants to bring Fiber to customers to create a better marketplace for fiber Internet, which has lead AT&T to launch its own fiber networks in some of the same cities as Google.

Foolish thoughts
For Google investors, this latest acquisition really won't change much. Google Fiber, although something the company appears committed to, is a very small part of the company right now. Even if the Alpental acquisition boosted Google into 5G and extended its Fiber reach, it still won't change much -- if anything -- on the company's bottom line. Google's long-term play may be the bigger picture here. If it can start controlling more of how users access the Internet, then it can potentially make more money from its users when they access its services. But with the company's Fiber service rolling out slowly, and AT&T now competing directly with Google, it could take a while for that to happen.

Leaked: Apple's next smart device (warning, it may shock you)
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Chris Neiger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Google (A shares) and Google (C shares). The Motley Fool owns shares of Google (A shares) and Google (C shares). Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

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David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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