Bend It Like Orthogon

Broadband wireless startup Orthogon Systems has scored a double-whammy deal with Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) but is tight-lipped on any possibility of strengthening ties with the incumbent.

Founded in 2000, the Waltham, Mass.-based vendor of point-to-point broadband wireless systems has announced a further $8 million cash injection, led by Motorola Ventures (see Orthogon Raises $8M). Motorola joins existing investors Atlas Venture and The Carlyle Group, and newcomer Lighthouse Capital Partners.

Today’s funding takes total investment to approximately $36 million. Orthogon declined to disclose specific details of Motorola’s involvement.

The startup has also teamed with Motorola on a first OEM deal, integrating its technology into Motorola’s Canopy broadband wireless kit. Both companies target the unlicensed 5GHz frequency band.

Orthogon claims its seriously trippy Multi-Beam Space-Time Coding technology can maintain a constant signal around large obstacles and over water. Numerous data streams are literally bent around buildings using multiple transmitters and receivers. At the receiving end, all the data streams are compared and evaluated until the data image is accurately restored and sequenced.

“Motorola has taken the Orthogon product and are selling it as a backhaul solution for its Canopy point-to-multipoint systems,” communications director Matt Burke tells Unstrung.

Analysts are unsurprised by today’s tie-up. “With Canopy, its WiMax plans and the acquisition of MeshNetworks, Motorola is collecting a deep set of products which would benefit from a wireless transport option,” notes Current Analysis's Peter Jarich. “Orthogon clearly fills this need. And, with no shortage of Canopy deployments in the market, Motorola will have ample opportunity to see how the Orthogon products perform should they want to move forward on a future acquisition.”

For now, at least, Orthogon’s Burke is playing down such a notion. “We are working extremely well together in this partnership but there’s nothing more to report at this time.”

Motorola was unavailable for comment at press time.

— Justin Springham, Senior Editor, Europe, Unstrung

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