Motorola deals for MeshNetworks

Motorola Inc. agreed to acquire MeshNetworks, Inc., a developer of mobile mesh networking technologies, in an effort to offer more broadband wireless solutions, Motorola officials announced today.

Terms of the deal, which is expected to close the fourth quarter of 2004, were not disclosed.

Rather than creating hotspots with 300-foot ranges, MeshNetwork's technologies build "hot zones" that create outdoor coverage over large metropolitan areas, Motorola officials said.

"With this acquisition, Motorola will provide its customers a broader solutions portfolio to build scalable broadband wireless networks capable of delivering next generation content including data, video, location and voice over IP services," company officials said.

The new services are expected to have applications for enterprise markets as well as automotive and home entertainment uses.

Through ITT Industries Inc., MeshNetworks products are used by the Defense Department, company officials said. MeshNetwork technology enables an ad-hoc network to be created on a battlefield. Using the technology, communication devices on the battlefield become a wireless network that instantly forms and updates itself. Also, the devices automatically optimize the connections between everyone in the network.

Mesh Network's technology is also used public safety officials across the country, said Rick Rotondo, MeshNetworks' vice president of technical marketing. He expects to see its uses grow.

"Motorola sees using this technology in a wide range across their divisions," Rotondo said.

Motorola currently licenses MeshNetworks' MeshConnex software for 802.11 wireless LANs and distributes its MeshNetworks Enabled Architecture.

MeshNetworks has just under 100 employees who will all keep their jobs and remain in the company's Maitland, Fla. offices, said Joe Hamilla, MeshNetworks' vice president of engineering.

"There is an indication that Motorola is interested in increasing this area," Hamilla said.

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Washington Technology.

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