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Motorola Unveils "Connected Home" Division

Motorola has formed a new business unit to sell "connected home" networking gear -- most notably wireless cable modem gatesways and digital set-top boxes -- to consumers.

Other offerings include home networking components, phones and mutli-fuction devices such as its all-in-one, cable-ready home theatre system.

"Our 'connected home' strategy means we're building devices and applications that enhance the value of broadband, with the ultimate goal of driving demand for cable products and services," said John Burke, a Motorola vice president.

In addition to unifying systems and devices in the home, Motorola said the equipment opens the door for network operators to deliver new services such as digital music subscrptions, Internet home monitoring and voice over Internet protocol phone service.

Last month, the company signed a deal to provide set-top boxes/personal video recorders and technical support to Comcast digital cable subscribers.

A Motorola spokeswoman was not immediately available to say whether the agreement might be expanded to include home networking equipment.

Yesterday, Cisco's Linksys division teamed with Covad Communications to sell its wireless routers, access points, adapters and Ethernet cables through a co-branded site.

Based outside Chicago, Motorola is best known for its wireless handsets. But in recent months it has been making a push in the broadband sector by rolling out new products and making acquisitions such as its purchase of Next Level Communications.

The "connected home" initiative will be run out of Motorola's Horsham, Penn.-based broadband division.