Motorola has big plans for non-handset units after spin-off

All the attention has been on Motorola's flailing handset business in recent quarters, but its other two divisions have shown far more solid performance, and co-CEO Greg Brown has big plans for their future.
 
The Home and Networks Mobility unit is now the largest by revenue, while the relative stability of the Enterprise Mobility has helped offset the device division's disasters in some quarters.
 
Although it suffered a 15% drop in sales in the first half of the year, this unit looked shiny when the handsets were experiencing three times the shortfall.
 
Brown, who heads up these two operations while co-CEO Sanjay Jha attends to phones, told Bloomberg that he aims to expand his businesses once Mobile Devices is spun off - a long awaited event that still has no target date. But it could happen in late 2010 if the unit achieves its hoped-for turnaround in the coming year.
 
Acquisitions might be in order to bolster the other two companies in future. “Fast forward the tape 12 to 24 months, I think it's fair to say we would evaluate opportunities that we thought were pretty compelling,” he said.
 
But he added that the date of spin-off would depend on how the new Android handsets perform, and how quickly economic recovery is seen - and any serious M&A would wait until after the companies were separated.
 
“If I think of Microsoft, I think of enterprise desktop computing; if I think of Cisco, I think of enterprise infrastructure...If I talk about enterprise mobility, I think that territory has yet to be staked out. It's a golden opportunity for Motorola,” Brown continued.
 
This space was one formerly identified by Nortel, whose wireless enterprise activities were one of its remaining highlights - especially through its high profile alliance with Microsoft.
 
This business will now be part of the assets up for the next round of auctions, with Avaya the stalking horse bidder.
 

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