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Edgeware Takes On Flash Rivals in US

Swedish video-on-demand server startup Edgeware AB has planted its flag on U.S. soil with high hopes of scoring business with the nation's cable operators, telcos, and even "over-the-top" Web TV service providers.

Fresh off an $8 million B round of funding, Edgeware has kicked off that strategy by opening up an office in San Jose, Calif. Although Edgeware expects its U.S. team to expand, the first full-timer dedicated to the market is David Appleman, a former Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) executive who joined Edgeware in February as vice president of sales for the Americas. (See Edgeware Opens US HQ.)

Edgeware's claim to fame is a line of "pizza-box" servers based entirely on solid-state Flash, a technology that's growing in popularity thanks to its non-volatile nature, low costs, and power consumption attributes. (See A Flashy Approach to VOD.)

Its Orbit 2x server uses UDP (User Datagram Protocol) streaming and is targeted at the cable and telco IPTV markets. Its newer Reflex 2x server uses TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) streaming, and is tailored to Web TV applications.

Both products are stackable pizza box designs that work with the firm's Convoy asset management system, which enables multiple boxes to work as one homogeneous system. In the context of a content distribution network (CDN), Edgeware's gear does not live in the main library, but streams and stores content from the CDN's mid-range clusters and edge nodes.

Sweden's Telia Company is Edgeware's current marquee customer, using the vendor's Orbit 2x servers to deliver VoD and network DVR services to more than 450,000 IPTV customers. (See TeliaSonera Uses Edgeware and TeliaSonera Deploys Edgeware.)

In the U.S., broadband video startup ZillionTV Corp. is gearing up for a launch later this year using Edgeware's Reflex 2x gear. (See ZillionTV Goes Over-the-Top.)

Although Edgeware doesn't have a reseller partner specific to the U.S. market, it does have two "global" resellers in Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) and Nokia Networks . (See AlcaLu Integrates Edgeware.)

Its connection with Nokia Siemens has also resulted in an integration with "OpenStream," a VoD backoffice system from Tandberg Television that's heavily used by MSOs such as Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC).

Edgeware has not ruled out additional hookups. "We are looking for partners for certain geographies," says the vendor's CEO, Joachim Roos.

Edgeware, which has about 30 employees today, is embarking on its new strategy after landing an $8 million round of funding last November, extending its total to $11 million. Micron Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: MU), a new investor, led the latest round, with participation from Edgeware's series A investors, Amadeus Capital Partners Ltd. and Creandum .

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