Aiming at Constrained Bandwidth, Ortiva’s Technology Improves Video Streaming

[Updated 8/30/11, 1:25 pm. See below.] The way to think about San Diego’s Ortiva Wireless is that it serves as a kind of accelerator. The reason the company exists comes down to the fact that the world is going wireless, the mobile device is moving into the center of our lives, and bandwidth congestion is an increasing problem.

“It’s not a techy thing,” CEO Marc Zionts told me earlier this summer. “There’s just an insatiable demand for bandwidth on wireless networks, and we’re just one of the bullets for that pain.”

Bullets usually inflict pain, but you get the idea. Ortiva has developed server-based software that’s designed to make mobile video stream faster and better across a wireless network, and seamlessly deliver other multimedia content that’s transmitted to mobile subscribers. The company’s customers are mostly mobile network operators in North America and Europe (such as Sprint and Vodaphone), and other wireless service providers.

“The essence of what we do is video optimization,” Zionts says. “The value proposition for consumers is that they get a better experience with fewer stalls when we’re in the network.”

Where San Diego’s Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) is primarily concerned with the bandwidth problem from the perspective of mobile devices, Zionts says Ortiva is focused mostly on the core of the wireless network.

Ortiva was founded in late 2004 to develop a promising breakthrough that Sujit Dey, an electrical and computer engineering professor, had created at UC San Diego. Dey, who has remained at UCSD while serving as Ortiva’s chief technology officer, says his innovation dynamically adapts data for the type of network, device, and application being used. In 2005, Dey said: “Our pitch to wireless carriers is that our products can increase wireless data capacity and revenues by a very healthy margin, while reducing capital and operating expenditures. We also provide significant advantages to content providers and aggregators—allowing them to deliver rich content across any network and device, without the need to develop and maintain network and device-specific content versions.”

Since 2004, Ortiva has raised nearly $40 million from venture investors that include San Diego’s Mission Ventures and Avalon Ventures, along with Palo Alto, CA-based Artiman Ventures, Intel Capital, and Comcast Interactive Capital.

For the first few years, Ortiva was focused mostly on … Next Page »

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Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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