Cable Show 2012: Motorola's Moloney: 'We'll Still Be Here Tomorrow'


Motorola Mobility president Dan Moloney briefly addressed Google's $12.5 billion takeover of his company -- which is set to close in the next two days -- saying that it will be business as usual for the foreseeable future.

"We're still here today, and we'll still be here tomorrow... that's not changing," he said, speaking during a session here. "Now we get the ability to have those dialogues with Google and see if we can accelerate some of that innovation."

On Monday, Motorola Mobility disclosed that Google expects to close the transaction within the next two business days, after the deal was approved late last week by Chinese antitrust regulators.

Moloney said that Google has expressed its intent to run Motorola Mobility as a standalone business inside Google.

"They believe we have a great vision for where we're taking the business," he said. "At a general level, I'd say, Google very much knows what we're doing and believes we have a strategy to go execute."

For Motorola, that strategy involves facilitating the ongoing shift toward securing content across multiple screens, as millions of new devices come into consumers' hands.

At the Cable Show, Moloney said, Motorola is highlighting two advancements: doubling the total downstream capacity of its DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem termination system and staging one of the first demos of the next-generation High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) standard in the U.S.

Those twin developments mean that more content will be available to consumers across more screens, as HEVC promises another 50% gain in bandwidth efficiencies over H.264 MPEG-4. With HEVC, an HD video signal that required 10 to 12 Mbps a decade ago can be compressed to under 2 Mbps, Moloney said.

"Think about all the opportunities to push more content down when you can compress it," he said.

Moloney was asked by moderator Mark Robichaux, editor in chief of Multichannel News, about what the future holds for the set-top box -- which remains a large portion of Motorola's cable business -- and if set-tops will eventually be needed at all. Moloney responded that he was reminded of the bit in Monty Python and the Holy Grail when a peasant complains to an undertaker trying to haul him off that "I'm not dead yet."

"The reality is, [the set-top] is not going away," Moloney said. "It's evolving as it has for the last 30 years."

Whereas today's set-top is associated with an individual TV, the smart home gateway of the future will enable content delivery to multiple IP clients, whether those are TVs, tablets or game consoles. "The intelligence will sit wherever in the network it makes the most sense," Moloney said.

When Google announced plans to acquire Motorola in August 2011, Google CEO Larry Page said the company wants to obtain Motorola's portfolio of 17,000-plus patents to "better protect" the Android operating system from legal attacks by rivals including Apple and Microsoft. Google is reportedly looking to spin off the Motorola set-top box and video-infrastructure division once the deal goes through.