RealTime IT News

Motorola to Serve Saudi Network

Motorola will build and operate a nationwide wireless system in Saudi Arabia to help businesses and government agencies there stay in touch with their employees, the mobile handset and infrastructure giant announced today.

The first phase of the project, which is being overseen by a four-firm consortium known as the Public Telecommunications Company (PTC), is worth more than $40 million.

Beginning in the second quarter, PTC will sell services powered by Motorola's integrated Digital Enhanced Network (iDEN) technology, including push-to-talk, telephone interconnect and packet data.

iDEN is currently used in 18 countries. Motorola's iDEN handsets provide additional features such as global positioning satellite (GPS) technology, color displays, speakerphone, voice recorder, voice dialing and downloadable ring tones.

A spokeswoman for Ill.-based Motorola was not immediately available for comment.

In a statement, Fred Wright, Motorola senior vice president, said "iDEN technology has proven to be very successful globally, providing over 22 million users multiple wireless services via a single handset."

iDEN has also helped carriers raise their average revenue per user, an important metric in the wireless industry, and reduce the number of subscribers who defect to rival carriers.

In other Motorola news today, the company's entertainment arm unveiled a new digital set-top box for the Chinese market.

The Motorola Digital Video 800, jointly designed by U.S. and Chinese engineers and manufactured in China, is aimed at helping operators transition from analog to digital.

The product includes a programming guide and middleware that support gaming, Video on Demand , Internet access and a local weather service.

Motorola has been active in the Chinese market for several years. It recently committed $90 million to enhance its presence in Beijing.