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    HomeInsightsMotorola aiming high on 3G following Huawei tie-up

    Motorola aiming high on 3G following Huawei tie-up

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    Joint venture will create market-leading portfolio, vendor claims

    Motorola’s joint venture with Huawei, to create a combined R&D centre for UMTS and HSDPA migration, will help the vendor execute commercially on its market-leading technology, marketing director Tom Quirke, has said.

    Quirke said that the venture, which will see the companies combine efforts on future products, would add Huawei’s manufacturing muscle, scale and speed to market with Motorola’s deep knowledge of wireless networking and customer support.

    “This is kind of a change in the industry and it means we are now very, very strong. We have set out to enhance and extend our portfolio to be the best in the marketplace, and with an extremely efficient R&D position we can get it immediately,” he said.

    Responding to the suggestion that the venture reflected a change of direction for Motorola due to a lack of success in winning contracts in HSDPA, Quirke said that the vendor had “led the way” in HSDPA.

    “We brought it into standards, and were the lone voice on HSDPA when everyone said it was a technology for 2008. And now with our Access Point solution we are deploying an architecture to enable all-IP backhaul for the first time,” Quirke said.

    Nonetheless, the fact remains that many see Motorola as not yet having delivered on its vision of winning 3G contracts it was initialay excluded with its “superior” HSDPA migration path.  Gartner’s research director Sylain Fabre described Motorola as “lightweight in this market.”

    But working in combination would immediately make the companies the number three player in the market, with 18%, relegating Lucent/ Alcatel to fourth, Fabre said.

    “In February, Huawei and Nortel announced an agreement to set up a joint venture in ultra broadband area [sic] and the agreement was quitted in May. This time round we would expect a viable joint venture,” added Mr Fabre.

    But Quirke said that there were still 117 3G licenses yet to be awarded globally, representing an outstanding opportunity. He added that operators are starting to come round to Motorola’s way of thinking on HSDPA on indoor coverage and on the number of codes needed to support usage.

    “The requirement is to get to 15 code HSDPA, and I’m not aware of many vendors that can do that,” Quirke said. “This is about responding to our customers, what operators are saying, and providing the clearest possible migration path and portfolio.”

    Future  products within the 3G evolution path will be separately branded and marketed under the joint banner, Quirke said. Asked if that meant Motorola would be pricing equipment at Huawei levels, he responded that although the vendor was not in a position to discuss prices, the aim of the venture was clearly to be profitable.