About a year and a half after Google announced its acquisition of Motorola, it's closed a deal to sell the Motorola Home half to Arris. Motorola Home covers the company's cable TV and internet device, which combined with Arris' existing businesses creates what it's calling "the Premier Video Delivery and Broadband Technology Company." Meanwhile, Google keeps the Motorola Mobility half that covers its cellphones, tablets and of course, the related patents. The move cost Arris $2.2 billion in cash along with 10.6 million shares of its stock issued to Google. That's on top of 10.6 million shares for Comcast in return for its $150 million investment, making them equal part (7.7 percent) owners with the folks from Mountain View. What does all of this mean? Your next cable-provided box will probably say Arris on it, and any faint dream of Motorola-built Android TV set-top boxes becoming widely available is officially over.
Comcast now has some extra skin in the cable box and modem business, as the provider has just agreed to invest $150 million in Arris. If the name sounds familiar, it should -- this is the company that recently purchased Motorola Home from Google for $2.35 billion. Under the terms of the agreement, Comcast will purchase roughly 7.85 percent of Arris, and in the very same stroke, halve Google's stake in the company, which previously sat at 15.7 percent. After the deal is complete, Google will end up with an additional $150 million in its pocket. As for what we can expect, Bob Stanzione, CEO of Arris, sounded off: "We believe this investment by one of our largest customers is a strong indication of customer support for the Motorola Home acquisition and its potential to accelerate innovation to the benefit of the industry and consumers." So, yeah... both companies will be working together more closely. For some additional insight behind the terms of the deal, you'll find the PR after the break.
Ever since Google announced it would acquire Motorola Mobility last year there have been questions about what it would do with the company's large internet and TV set-top box business, and now that question has been answered: it's selling Motorola Home to Arris for $2.35 billion in cash and stock. Another maker of cable boxes and modems, Arris says the acquisition will both increase its product offering, and increase its patent portfolio thanks to a license to "a wide array" of Motorola Mobility patents. The transaction has been approved by the boards of both companies, and they expect the deal to close in Q2 2013.
The potential of slipping Android / Google TV into the cable box business through the back door was a tantalizing, but unfortunately probably not a dream shared by the operators that are Motorola's customers. Naturally, Google will be hanging onto the mobile device business and related patent library that spurred the $12.5 billion acquisition in the first place, but will own about 15.7 percent of Arris. We'll be hopping on a conference call to find out any more details in a moment, check out the press release after the break. Now, who holds the rights to that Motorola home automation tablet?
Update: Listening to the call, Arris explains one of its reasons for the move is that until now, two (unnamed) customers comprised half of its business, but afterwards, five customers will make up half of its business. Also important is an included "low" cap that limits Arris' liability in the case of IP damages from lawsuits like the one currently ongoing with TiVo.
About a year ago, Arris teased a system capable of 4.5Gbps downloads, and while that technology was in the proof-of-concept phase last June, it's beginning to look more like a real possibility. German network provider Kabel Deutschland just notched a new download speed record using Arris' C4 CMTs and Touchstone CM820S cable modems: a mind-blowing 4,700 Mbps (4.7 Gbps). The cable operator set that world-record rate in the city of Schwerin, where it recently updated its network to 862 MHz. The network may be capable of delivering those 4.7Gbps speeds, but the company noted that current laptops and modems can't even process such blazing data transfer rates. And before you North Americans get too excited, note that KD uses the EuroDOCSIS specification on the 8MHz channel, while the DOCSIS uses the 6MHz scheme in the US and beyond. Still, that's not to say that other cable providers like Verizon FiOS have been slacking lately -- 300Mbps downloads are nothing to scoff at.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
If your cable company is offering Arris' Moxi Whole Home DVR setup (we've seen it pop up on Shaw, BendBroadband and Wide Open West so far) you should have a few new features headed your way. This week at the NCTA Cable Show 2012 it's debuting Moxi software release 2.0 which adds in a WebKit-based browser, downloadable apps and an appstore the TV provider can customize itself, as well as APIs and SDKs aplenty to bring in third party developers. With the SDK, other companies can pair mobile devices and build in remotes or stream content, while Arris is also showing off its own iPad app (images after the break) for remote DVR scheduling. Unfortunately, we're told these upgrades won't trickle down to owners of Moxi's retail DVRs, but considering how close they came to total deactivation, we're not that surprised.Permalink | | Email this | Comments