Humax grabs top stake in MMC Technology to boost U.S. presence

Equipment vendors and service providers alike are focusing on residential gateways as the weapon that they can use to hit an ever-moving target of video subscribers within today's connected home.

That in mind, international set-top box maker Humax (KOSDAQ:115160) has increased its ownership stake in MMC Technology, from about 13 percent, to 21.98 percent, in an effort to quickly develop and market a residential gateway for the U.S. market.

The acquisition effectively makes Humax the largest shareholder in South Korea's MMC Technology and gives it the ability to expand its home gateway server platform with WiFi network technology MMC has been honing since it was founded in 1997.

"Humax's strategy is to become a leader in the market by introducing the advanced technology and expertise of MMC Technology in the home gateway server market where the existing broadcasting industry has been turning its attention to broadcasting services on broadband technology," the company said in a statement. "Recently, the home gateway server market has been drawing more interest from the advanced broadcasting in U.S. and EU markets which are expected to take off within one or two years."

Humax is a leading brand set-top box retailer for DVRs, cable, satellite, terrestrial, IP and IP hybrid boxes with retail presence in the U.K., Germany and the Middle East. For now it is a speck in the U.S. market (although it has dealings with Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), as that company advances on its own fiber-based network and mulls the notion of becoming a virtual MSO.

The leadership stake in MMC Technology will fast-track Humax's development of a next generation set-top box platform that can target a growing need in the U.S. market.

For most purposes, a residential gateway connects multiple devices throughout a residence--laptops, tablets and smartphones being the leading devices, but smart appliances coming onto the market all the time--via WiFi. It also is the link between the external service provider pipe and services such as IPTV, voice, broadband data and other forms of video.

"For more than 15 years MMC Technology has accumulated and established technological expertise in the residential gateway market. This advanced know-how will become leverage for us to find a new market for our home gate3way server, which is the next generation set-top box," Humax CEO Dae-Gyu Byun said.

The MMC boilerplate describes the company's line of products as residential gateways and access points for WiFi hotspots for domestic major telecommunications and cable companies. It also includes WiFi modules for smart devices manufacturers. MMC's major clients include KT, SK Telecom (NYSE: SKM), SK Broadband (KOSDAQ: 033630), CJ HelloVision and THINKWARE.

For more
 - see the Humax release

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