In the shadow of Cisco's surprising $6.9 billion acquisition of set-top box maker Scientific Atlanta late last year, Motorola heightened the tension in the STB market this week with the acquisition of Swedish STB maker Kreatel. Six-year-old Kreatel makes a Linux-based set-top box with open-source technology that extends into the application and middleware layers. This flexibility enables Motorola to use the offering with a broad range of apps, while allowing the STBs to keep up with inevitable changes and network evolution. Kreatel boasts customers like Telefonica in Spain, KPN in the Netherlands and TeliaSonera in Sweden.
Technology integration and the fear of outdated IPTV STBs in a short period of time are two hot-button issues in the industry right now. Motorola's acquisition of Kreatel is one step toward putting those fears to rest. Analysts, however, say the deal is mostly a defensive move on Motorola's part. According to reports from In-Stat, Motorola and Cisco accounted for 90 percent of worldwide STBs shipped during the first half of 2005. The Kreatel acquisition will strengthen Motorola's foothold in Europe, a region with a far richer IPTV market than the U.S.
For more on Motorola's Swedish STB acquisition:
- take a look at this article from TechNewsWorld