Motorola Buys Broadbus, Rolls Into VOD

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In a move that has been anticipated for weeks, Motorola announced that it will acquire next-generation on-demand-server vendor Broadbus Technologies for an undisclosed price.

One of two major deals signaling a consolidation in the on-demand-server market, the Broadbus acquistion for the first time gives Motorola a stake in the highly competive video-on-demand systems market.

Broadbus is among a group of next-generation on-demand vendors, offering a server technology that is based on dynamic random-access memory rather than traditional disk storage. The company claims more than 60 deployments with operators including Comcast, Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable.

Broadbus’ open-standards-based technology also fits well with systems Motorola is developing, and it can more easily lead to content delivery that bridges traditional television and wireless systems, according to Geoff Roman, corporate vice president of strategy and business development for Motorola’s Connected Home Solutions business.

“We see this as something that works with mobile devices, and it’s going to work with a new range of devices that are going to link in through Wi-Fi hotspots or over WiMAX, plus taking advantage of the existing install base and growing that base over the conventional cable and telco environments,” he added.

Roman continued, “So we really see it as a beginning of a platform that will really change the on demand paradigm and integrate on-demand with streamed real-time, looking at storage of multiple resolution formats of the same content so you can access common devices.”

Motorola will integrate Broadbus into its Connected Home Solution group, but it will maintain Broadbus’ Boxborough, Mass., headquarters and facilities in China. Broadbus has a work force of about 130, and most of them -- including the bulk of the management team -- will remain with Motorola, Roman said.

Pending federal regulatory approval, the deal is expected to close late in the third quarter.

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