Motorola Snares Ucentric

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Motorola Inc. extended its reach into the home-networking space last week, acquiring privately held home media-networking software developer Ucentric Systems Inc. for an undisclosed price.

Motorola said it will include the software in its Home Media Architecture and actively market the connected-home software solutions to third-party service providers and consumer-electronics manufacturers.

Ucentric software allows consumers to move audio and video content between devices in the home, whether its HDTV content on a digital video recorder, music on a computer hard drive, or photos on a laptop.

The software is designed to operate with electronic program guides from multiple vendors, and allows service providers to offer a personalized subscriber experience.

“Motorola is committed to bringing relevant seamless-mobility solutions to the connected home marketplace, and the acquisition of Ucentric’s suite provides us with a robust software platform for delivering the next generation of broadband services,” Motorola corporate vice president and general manager of consumer entertainment solutions John Burke said in a statement.

Separately, the turnaround continues in Motorola’s broadband division, which generated operating earnings of $47 million on sales of $691 million in the fourth quarter of 2004, compared with a loss of $52 million on revenue of $553 million.

During the fourth quarter, Motorola won a contract to provide Verizon Communications Inc. with digital video network infrastructure and set-tops for the video portion of its fiber-to-the-home rollouts.

Chairman and CEO Ed Zander said cable-modem termination system revenue jumped 65% from third quarter 2004 to fourth quarter, while HD DVR shipments rose 29% quarter-to-quarter.

Zander said the broadband division showed year-over-year sales growth for the fifth consecutive year.

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