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aplental65Sometimes startups attract corporate attention after releasing cutting-edge products, or nailing down key customers.

Others get gobbled up before they ever really get going. The latter situation appears to be the case with Alpental Technologies, a stealthy Seattle area startup that was just recently acquired by Google.

Haven’t heard of Alpental? Don’t worry. Not much is known about the startup, other than a short story we wrote last summer after we discovered a SEC filing indicating that it had raised $850,000 in startup financing.

Alpental was led by former Clearwire technologists — Pete Gelbman and Mike Hart. Gelbman worked at Clearwire for seven years, serving as a founding member of Clearwire’s CTO group and overseeing the company’s corporate research, systems engineering and intellectual property. Before Clearwire, he worked at ArrayComm and Arch Wireless.

Pete Gelbman

Hart was a principal systems architect at Clearwire and also served on the CTO’s research and development team. In that role, he was responsible for wireless communications technologies that in part helped to lower the cost per gigabyte of the company’s broadband network. A former researcher at Fujitsu Laboratories of Europe and UK Broadband, Hart holds an EB-1 U.S. resident visa, which is granted to immigrants of “extraordinary ability.”

Asked about the acquisition, Gelbman directed us to Google PR, which offered this rather bland statement.

“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 spokesman said.

Not much to go on there. All we’ve heard is that the Alpental team was developing technologies related to 5G, the next generation wireless network, and that former Atheros Communications CEO Craig Barratt, now a senior vice president at Google, led the acquisition. The technologies could have applications in connecting fiber to the home, and Barratt is working on Google’s municipal wi-fi offerings.

Could the Aplental team, which is moving to Silicon Valley, help propel Google into delivering next-generation broadband to home? Let us know if you’ve heard anything.

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