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Motorola scores $1bn PPC deal with, er, Sun and Motorola

Bombastic ten year alliance to revolutionise IP wireless services. Honest.

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Motorola and Sun have teamed-up to pitch IP-based telephony services to the wireless market. The ten year strategic alliance puts together Motorola hardware and Sun software, and incidentally throws a substantial lifebelt to Motorola Computer Group (MCG). As part of the deal Motorola will buy "up to $1 billion in board- and system-level hardware from MCG." Yes folks, it's a funny old world, but money's money, even if it's funny money. The two companies say they will deliver "an unprecedented level of wireless availability - the equivalent in a wireline world of near-inifinite dial tone" - i.e., we're going to be majoring on scalability and uptime. There are three basic parties to the deal. MCG supplies the hardware, Motorola's Network Solutions Sector (NSS) the wireless expertise and Sun the software. MCG's contribution will include the CPX8216 PowerPC high-availability computing platform, and this at least will have the virtue of keeping the Big M interested in PowerPC for a little while longer. At the base station level there will be custom hardware from NSS plus CPU and NIC from NCG, and Sun's ChorusOS real-time operating system. Call processing controllers will use the CPX8216 plus ChorusOS, while Sun's Netra hardware gets a look in at back office processing and central office operations - this bit will of course be running Solaris. So the deal, as we understand it, means that Motorola gets the volume end of the business, and gets Sun doing the operating software for it, while Sun gets to play with the big stuff. The whole shebang is to be sold on to network operators as a seamless package, presumably. ®

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