Google finalized a deal to acquire Surprise, Arizona startup Athena Wireless Communications in February of this year, according to reports. The company has been around for several years and has spent much of that time building wireless LTE and small cell technologies that can move data at gigabit Fiber-like speeds. The acquisition is an obvious one for a company such as Google that is continuing to build out its Google Fiber infrastructure and has plans to announce its own MVNO…
Athena started to get looks from Google in 2013 and 2014, but it wasn’t until their products went through testing that Google decided to acquire the company:
“Google wanted to deploy this technology for some of their applications. We began a commercialization of our technology,” Eduardo Tinoco, co-founder of Athena told YourWestValley. “The product went through extensive testing – several months – and eventually that made it into a product Google could buy.”
It’s not hard to imagine what kind of “applications” Google might want to integrate Athena’s technologies into. Google continues to invest energy and resources into its Fiber project, and it announced at the beginning of this year that it had moved the service into 4 new cities. Athena’s technology could mean further expansion without the need to actually lay physical fiber cable (or rent out that which is pre-existing).
Secondly, some of Athena’s technology could be incorporated into the much-anticipated Google MVNO. The cellular service, which is rumored to be officially launching at this year’s Google I/O (or, as WSJ reported, right about now), could theoretically take advantage of Athena’s Pixie LTE small cell, for example. If you want more details on the MVNO, be sure to check out our coverage of the recently-leaked “Project Fi” app.
Check out the video Athena published last year showing off its “Pixie”: