Netopia makes customer premise equipment (CPE) for DSL and IPTV networks, including wired and wireless modems, routers, and gateways. The company also offers remote management software, and broadband services.
With the acquisition, Motorola said it can now offer a full suite of home CPE for copper-based telecom networks, including home media hubs, voice gateways, and IP set-tops.
Netopia has put a great deal of effort into its remote management capabilities. A service provider can use Netopia systems to query, change settings, and update the firmware on CPE associated with video services. Netopia also makes it possible for providers to remotely manage – and even take control of – customers’ PCs.
One carrier is testing the remote PC remote management product now. In an interview conducted early in October, Netopia VP of marketing Chris Thompson said the unnamed company cut its customer support calls by 25%.
Netopia’s remote management approach is in alignment with the philosophy of key IPTV providers. Verizon in particular is adamant that subscribers should not have to be system integrators; the provider has to be able to make sure all subscriber services work across all in-home equipment. That philosophy is echoed nearly verbatim by Thompson.
Netopia has what it calls “strategic business relationships” with Verizon, as well as with AT&T, Belgacom, BellSouth, Covad Communications, EarthLink, eircom, Hong Kong Telecom/PCCW, MegaPath Networks, Netifice and Swisscom.
Perhaps coincidentally, perhaps not, Motorola supplies set-tops to Verizon for its FiOS service.
In the earlier interview, Netopia’s Thompson may have telegraphed a potential value of being able to supply both cable and IPTV providers. “We’re waiting for the first consolidation of telco and cable.” Should that happen, it’s more likely to happen in Europe or Canada first, he opined.
While Netopia is preparing for that possibility, Thompson said, the company is having its VDSL2 products tested by more than 20 carriers worldwide.
Upon completion of the transaction, Netopia will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Motorola and will be integrated into Motorola’s Connected Home Solutions business.