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Cable/Video

Motorola Deal Plugs In Turin

Turin Networks Inc. said Monday that it has reached an exclusive arrangement with Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), through which Motorola will resell Turin's Traverse product cable operators (see Motorola Markets Turin's Transport). Per the agreement, Motorola will rebrand Turin's Traverse 1600 (its 19-inch chassis with 16 slots for metro access to metro edge applications) as the MBT-5000.

No money has yet changed hands in the deal, Turin says, but having Motorola as a reseller will give the startup a big advantage in competing for cable operator customers worldwide. "When I go to Germany, who the heck knows Turin Networks over there?" asks John Webley, Turin's CEO. "But everyone in the cable business knows Motorola."

Motorola envisions using Turin's box to plug a product gap in its portfolio. Motorola already sells set-top boxes, cable modems, CMTS routers, IP telephony gear, and hybrid fiber coax gear. Turin's boxes will give cable providers the added benefit of a way to hook a regional cable head-end and several distribution hubs together via an OC48 or OC192 Sonet ring.

In video applications, the Turin box will provide Gigabit Ethernet connectivity from a cable operator's video server to its head-end or connectivity between cable modems and the network access point, says Webley (see Cable Networks: A Primer).

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) already dominates the cable head-end market, and its ONS 15454 next-generation Sonet box is used as a transport solution. Motorola's deal with Turin clearly signals that it wants to continue its move up the food chain from commodity cable modems so it can bundle solutions for cable operators.

It should be an interesting fight, especially given that Motorola is as well known for supplying components as Cisco is for marketing its equipment solutions.

That said, the deal is a boon for Turin. While the company concentrates on winning service provider accounts, it can enter an entirely new, and arguably faster growing, market on the shoulders of Motorola's sales force.

"While it's an odd fit for a company that was really pushing their TDM and crossconnect capabilities, the cable equipment market is a closed one, and the only way into it [for an MSPP box maker] is through a partner such as Motorola," says Doug Green, founder of The Bradam Group, a telecommunications consultancy (see Turin Turns Up).

Though Motorola will manage customer support for Turin's product when it comes to tier-one customers, several successive sales to regional cable operators could really test Turin's mettle. "Once you start down the path of controlling headcount and costs, the only way you can really survive is through developing good partnerships," says Webley.

— Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading
http://www.lightreading.com
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The_Holy_Grail 12/4/2012 | 10:27:50 PM
re: Motorola Deal Plugs In Turin Does anyone know or wish to speculate on market opportunities?

Looks good for Turin teamig with a well established branded name.
mu-law 12/4/2012 | 10:27:50 PM
re: Motorola Deal Plugs In Turin "Cisco Systems Inc. already dominates the cable head-end market"

Whoa! Now that's what I call a sneak attack... I wasn't even aware that Cisco made HE's, yet they own the business...

Phil, please be a little more careful?

mu.
stuartb 12/4/2012 | 10:27:46 PM
re: Motorola Deal Plugs In Turin I believe he's referring to Cisco's position as the #1 CMTS provider, which is true. Cisco is number 1 I believe, with Motorola (Riverdelta acquisition), Arris, and ADC (Broadband Access acquisition) pretty much equally dividing the rest of the market.

For the high-bandwidth transport piece, I believe Fujitsu has a lot of the SONET business with some Nortel and Cisco/Cerent installs.

-Stu
layer3 12/4/2012 | 10:27:46 PM
re: Motorola Deal Plugs In Turin All in all, a good deal for Turin. I heard thru the 'vines that they've got a good little product. This is emerging as the only way startups will get business. (I believe Equipe started the trend with Ciena).Wouldn't be surprised to see more deals like this in the near future. Supercom may be the best forum to announce such deals.

L3

GlassyEyed 12/4/2012 | 10:27:44 PM
re: Motorola Deal Plugs In Turin So Motorola found a replacemnt for the Geyser box. Who actually sells it, Turin or Motorola? Turin do not speak cable and Motorola do not speak Metro.
befuddled 12/4/2012 | 10:27:41 PM
re: Motorola Deal Plugs In Turin The messaging on the show floor is that Motorola has been working with Turin for many months to take their MSPP to the cable market only. Product is on the show floor in Motorola colors (interesting since Syncronous' product is also in Motorola booth still in Synchronous colors).

Turin's box is smaller than Cisco's ONS 15454 with very high density low speed cards from DS3 and up. Also showing an 8 port GigE card with a single OC192 WAN card (no redundancy shown).
lightFista 12/4/2012 | 10:27:40 PM
re: Motorola Deal Plugs In Turin ...SONET interfaces? Turin had better get some SDH interfaces if they want to break into Europe. Should only take them about 12-18 months then. Come back soon!

Pet A Luma 12/4/2012 | 10:27:25 PM
re: Motorola Deal Plugs In Turin Since thet have been working on SDH for about a year+ already I guess they will be back sooner than you think.

lightFista 12/4/2012 | 10:27:16 PM
re: Motorola Deal Plugs In Turin Fair enough.

Strange how they were trying desperately to employ SDH software engineers in Europe about 5/6 months ago though.
USA 12/4/2012 | 10:27:13 PM
re: Motorola Deal Plugs In Turin The Turin portfolio of products seems to be a bit of an overkill for the services Motorola offers. Is this a signal that Motorola wants to play with Cisco and others in the Metro Core and Metro Access markets?
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