With an eye toward reducing prices for users, Hewlett-Packard Co. and Motorola Inc. have inked a multiyear agreement aimed at lowering infrastructure costs for wireless carriers.
HP will provide Motorola, which will sell the solution, with Linux-based servers and software, as well as a controller system that adheres to the Signaling System 7 standard, said HP officials in Palo Alto, Calif.
The package is based on industry standards rather than proprietary technology, which should make it less expensive and easier to upgrade than most carrier systems, officials said. It could also open the market to newer carriers that want to offer wireless services but cant afford equipment, officials said.
"Infrastructure—cell towers, switching equipment, data servers, billing and management systems, etc.—is what delivers the goods," said Jorge Abellas-Martin, an eWEEK Corporate Partner and CIO of Arnold Worldwide, a Boston advertising agency. "Costs going down for a vendor is always good for the customer, particularly in a sector where there is such cutthroat competition as cellular."
Initially, HP is working with Motorola to offer two basic packages—one based on Motorolas IDEN (Integrated Digital Enhanced Network), which is primarily used by Nextel Communications Inc., and another based on the more widely used CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) network technology.
The system includes HPs Integrity cx2600 64-bit rack-mount server, a carrier-grade version of HPs Integrity rx2600 server. HP officials said having a common platform for telephony and IT will make network upgrades easier. The servers will run Linux.
The system includes the HP OpenCall Radio Signaling Controller system, which handles call signals and connections.
Motorola will integrate its middleware and application software into the platform.
Motorola officials said the IDEN offering will roll out by the end of the year and the CDMA package will be available to carriers in the second half of next year. They declined to share specific carrier plans.