Motorola Eats Winphoria

Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) has today announced plans to acquire softswitch startup Winphoria Networks for an undisclosed amount of cash.

Motorola has been touting a repackaged version of Winphoria's mobile switching center (MSC) to customers since August 2002 (see A Wireless Taxonomy). "Basically, we were dating back in August 2002 -- now we're married," says a spokesman for Motorola.

Motorola claims the MSC offers five times the capacity of traditional voice switching while taking up less space and using less power, thereby saving carriers money. Traditional voice switches forward calls to other cells, link cell sites to the wireline telephone network, and monitor traffic for billing information. However, the Winphoria switch can also link the cell to a carrier's IP network, allowing it to support third-generation data services and voice over IP (see Walking, Not Running, to PTT and Winphoria Talks Back).

The MSC market is dominated by LM Ericsson (Nasdaq: ERICY), Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU), and Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT). Motorola hopes this acquisition will give them a competitive edge.

Motorola says the acquisition should be completed in the second quarter, subject to regulatory conditions.

— Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung

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