Communications tech

Google Spins Off High-Speed Telecom Project Aalyria

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Google has long had a reputation for working on hard, deep-tech projects in secret, and the tech giant has announced it is spinning off yet another one.

Telecom startup Aalyria was unveiled Monday. While exact details are scarce, reports state the startup has been working on software for high-speed communications networks that extend to satellites in space.

Aalyria was code named “Minkowski” inside of Google. It was reported Aalyria said in a news release that its mission is to manage “hyper fast, ultra-secure, and highly complex communications networks that span land, sea, air, near space, and deep space.”

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The release added Aalyria will “radically” improve satellite communications, Wi-Fi on planes and other cellular connectivity, and that the startup already has secured an $8.7 million government defense contract.

Spinning off deep tech

Aalyria becomes just the latest spinoff from Google and its parent, Alphabet. Other examples include self-driving technology firm Waymo and augmented reality developer Niantic Labs.

Spinning off such tech allows Google to retain an ownership stake in what could become extremely valuable IP, while also allowing those research projects to seek outside funding and not be solely dependent on Google.

That is especially important in today’s market, where many companies are tightening their belts and cutting down on R&D expenditures as the stock market remains rocky. While it’s unclear how long Aalyria’s tech has been in development at Google, it seems logical to think it has been being developed for a while and has not been inexpensive.

Just on Friday, another Google spinoff announced a significant raise. South San Francisco-based Verily raised $1 billion from Alphabet itself. Alphabet spun off what would become Verily—which introduced a COVID-19 testing program in 2020—as its own independent subsidiary in 2015. Google and Alphabet have been active health care investors—especially recently.

Illustration: Dom Guzman


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