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Motorola snaps up wireless broadband company

Cell phone maker to acquire Orthogon Systems, which specializes in wireless broadband tech, for an undisclosed sum.

Motorola plans to buy Orthogon Systems, which specializes in wireless broadband technology, for an undisclosed amount.

Motorola said Monday that it will use the Orthogon technology to enhance its own wireless broadband portfolio of products, which it sells under the name Motowi4. Motorola is an investor in the company and has been reselling Orthogon equipment since 2004.

Orthogon has developed wireless radios and receivers for point-to-point wireless connections. The company's technology is unique because it uses special space-time coding to build nonfading radios in the 5.8GHz spectrum. This means the radios can be used without requiring a direct line of site between the radio and the receiver.

Motorola may be best known for manufacturing cell phones, such as the popular Razr. But it also offers a wide range of products that provide cellular operators and corporate customers with high-bandwidth point-to-point wireless products that can be used to connect cellular sites, replace leased data lines, connect wireless access point clusters, serve as a backbone for mesh networks, and link corporate and institutional campuses and remote sites.

Motorola is also developing WiMax products for both fixed and mobile applications. Last year, the company announced it would collaborate and share testing and design information for new mobile WiMax technology using the 802.16e standard with chipmaker Intel.

The Orthogon acquisition is expected to close in the first half of 2006 and is subject to regulatory and other customary conditions, the company said.