June 29, 2007

3 Min Read
Moto Channel Mash-Up Mines Wireless Broadband Market

By Tara Seals

The 400 Series point-to-point wireless product for backhaul is available through Motorolas Fixed Wireless-level VARs.

Motorola Inc. is going after a hot market wireless broadband with a brand spanking new channel program. The vendor will rely on VARs, dealers and integrators to market the MOTOwi4 wireless broadband portfolio in North America, with the goal of achieving 85 percent of sales through that channel this year.

The MOTOwi4 suite includes the Canopy portfolio, point-to-point solutions from the acquisition of Orthogon, a range of Wi-Fi mesh gear, broadband over powerline, laptops and specific productized applications, such as license plate recognition and video surveillance.

Accordingly, the program, which will now have exclusive access to the wireless broadband suite, consolidates existing Motorola radio dealers, Canopy portfolio resellers, Orthogon Systems dealers and new entrants. Paul Mueller, vice president of wireless broadband distribution for North America at Motorola, says the decision to attack the market space with a focused channel partner strategy arose from long meetings and hours of study. We had a lot of options on the table, but this approach makes the most sense, all things considered, he says. This is now our primary go-tomarket strategy, excluding Sprint and Clearwire for WiMAX, for wireless broadband.

The opportunity for partners, says Mueller, is vast. Primary customer targets include state and local governments, municipal wireless deployments and a host of vertical markets, such as mining, ports, education and others that need to support a wide range of apps, such as monitoring, location-based services and safety applications.

The MOTOMESH multiradio solution is available through Motorolas Mobile Wireless-level VARs.

Theres a large market for government, whether its public access or private networks within government for things like fire and rescue, says Mueller. And the vertical markets opportunity is virtually untapped. He cites open-pit copper mining operations, for one. Previously, this area was served with 802.11 solutions, but we can offer much more low-interference [broadband wireless access] gear that would work better in that kind of severe RF environment. For underground mining, applications for in-mine vehicle health monitoring (replacement of these specialized vehicles can run into the millions of dollars) and location-based services to track people and property within a mine are increasing requirements.

He says Motorola may have deep experience in state and local government, and the fall 2006 Symbol Technologies acquisition gave it a better enterprise position, but the vendor lacks contacts and experience in a number of these new vertical markets. Thats a big way that VARs come to the table here, he says. Well look to a partner to bring our network gear to a transportation opportunity, say, because they know that market inside and out.

Also, partners are a more cost-effective way for Motorola to go after smaller-scale opportunities. We do really well in sprawling deployments, network-of-networks, multitechnology type of deployments, he says. But a lot of system sales are pilots that will grow city-wide over time, or finite-size deployments, say 20 square miles or less. Thats where the VARs excel.

Partners wanting to get into the program will need a unique combination of wireless and IT expertise, with IP fluency, Mueller says. There are also formal certifications for three levels of participation along with minimum technical, sales and personnel requirements. The three levels are:

  • Mobile Devices, which gives access to laptops and a range of applications that may or may not require a network deployment, volume commitment is to be determined.

  • Fixed Wireless Broadband, which can sell 802.11, the Canopy portfolio and point-to-point backhaul solutions, and carries a $250,000 annual sales volume.

  • Mobile Wireless Broadband, which carries a $1 million volume commitment and gives participants access to the full gamut of solutions.


Motorola Inc. www.motorola.com

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