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Motorola hooks customers to affiliates

The company's wireless broadband division has begun promoting its affiliate companies' products and services to its own customers.

A Motorola wireless broadband division on Wednesday announced an affiliate program to link its customers to products and services not offered directly through Motorola.

Motorola's Canopy Broadband Group builds equipment that uses unlicensed spectrum to beam broadband Internet access wirelessly to homes and business--usually to places that are hard to reach or in rural areas.

Motorola said that although it builds versatile wireless access products, it recognizes that customers need products that go beyond what the company offers. Some of the products and services offered through the affiliate companies include ISP (Internet service provider) operations tools, financing services and video-surveillance equipment.

The company made the announcement at the Broadband Wireless World conference in San Jose, Calif.

The Canopy system uses the 5GHz range of spectrum, an area of radio waves increasingly used for "fixed wireless" equipment.

In this model, broadband Web access is cast from an antenna atop a tower to other receiving antenna. This helps smaller Web providers extend their networks without having to dig trenches to lay fiber-optic cables.

Other equipment makers turning to the 5GHz range include Western Multiplex and Alvarion. The spectrum allows equipment to beam the signal for miles at a time. A signal from Canopy's equipment, for example, can travel about 10 miles in certain areas.