Friday, June 11, 2010

FCC Adopts Rules Governing WCS and Satellite Radio

The saga appears to be over. On May 20, 2010, the FCC issued its Report and Order and Second Report and Order on the rules governing the Wireless Communication Services (WCS) and the Rules and Policies for Satellite Radio. We noticed today that Sirius XM has withdraw its applications for repeaters. Presumably, this is because it now has (or will soon have) the coveted blanket authority to set up repeaters up to 12 KW. That means that within the parameters of the report and order, Sirius XM is now free to establish repeaters wherever it wants without the burden of having the FCC approve each application. It still has to fill out the applications and state the maximum number of repeaters, and the FCC still has the discretion to disallow the maximum number of repeaters, so the authority is not unlimited.

It does mean, however, that the WCS will be operating around the satellite radio band and there could be some interference. Neither side seems to be particularly happy, so the rules must be reasonably balanced between allowing WCS to operate their services and satellite radio to tolerate some interference.

The rules are to take effect 30 days after publication in the federal register.



xm sirius satellite radio stocks patent patents trademark copyright experimental licenses wcs eas invest investing fcc

Jump to :: Satellite Radio Techworld Home Page ::

Thursday, June 10, 2010

And None for Liberty

On June 04, 2010, AfriSpace Debtor in Possession (aka WorldSpace) filed an application with the FCC to transfer its two geostationary satellites to Yazmi USA. Yazmi is wholly own by-you guess it-Noah A. Samara, the founder of WorldSpace. Samara was also the principle of Yenura, who entered into an asset purchase agreement with AfriSpace Debtor in Possession. That agreement terminated in September 2009. That is when Liberty came in an attempted to purchase the claims of the previous lenders. In the process, Liberty provided a bridge loan of $7.3 million so that WorldSpace could continue to operate. As reported earlier, Liberty terminated its agreement with WorldSpace in March 2010. WorldSpace then filed for an emergency motion of the debtors for an order to approve the de-orbiting of the satellites or abandoning the assets. The de-orbiting plan was approved by the courts with a preference for selling the assets.

WorldSpace proceeded to invite two bids, Yazmi and an unknown bidder (not likely Liberty). Yazmi secured the assets for $5.5 million. Liberty can't be too happy about this. Nevertheless, the courts approved the sale. If the FCC approves, Samara will continue his legacy.

So, WorldSpace (and Samara) hangs to broadcast another day. Samara must have a plan. It is unlikely he has the personal resources to keep funding WorldSpace and there probably aren't lenders standing in line. Who knows. Perhaps Sirius XM will step in.


xm sirius satellite radio stocks patent patents trademark copyright experimental licenses wcs eas invest investing fcc
Jump to :: Satellite Radio Techworld Home Page ::

Friday, April 09, 2010

Sirius XM to Launch Another Geostationary Satellite

Sirius XM (aka Satellite CD Radio) applied for authority to launch another geostationary satellite (FM-6) to act as a backup to the previously launched geostationary satellite, FM-5. FM-5 , along with three NGO satellites, currently service the Sirius satellite radios. The XM side of the business has its own constellation.

The three NGO satellites were launched in 2000 and will be 12 years old when FM-6 becomes operational in 2012. The NGO satellites will be phased outs and FM-5 will be relocated to make the constellation nearly identical to the legacy XM constellation, allowing the integration of the two systems. The transmissions will be compatible with current of future generations of Sirius XM radios.

xm sirius satellite radio stocks patent patents trademark copyright experimental licenses wcs eas invest investing fcc

Jump to :: Satellite Radio Techworld Home Page ::

Thursday, April 08, 2010

And Liberty for None

Liberty Satellite Radio, that is. If WorldSpace thought Liberty Media was bluffing when it terminated negotiations, it may be thinking differently now. In December of 2009, Liberty Media filed for a consent to acquire two satellites from AfriSpace, the Debtor in Possession of the satellites used for the WorldSpace service in India. The name of the company would have been Liberty Satellite Radio. Today, April 08, 2010, Liberty Media withdrew its request from the International Bureau of the FCC, officially ending its quest for world domination.

AfriSpace has threatened to decommission its satellites. We have not yet been unable to find any evidence that it has made any filings with the FCC to do so. Liberty may be calling AfriSpace's bluff.

Is it over? Doubtful. It's valuable spectrum, and if it is returned to the FCC, it will likely be a long time before it is used. No one wants that to happen. Keep watching. The saga continues.

xm sirius satellite radio stocks patent patents trademark copyright experimental licenses wcs eas invest investing fcc

Jump to :: Satellite Radio Techworld Home Page ::

FCC Proposes Rules to Minimize Interference between SDARS and WCS

In the biggest news event for satellite radio since the merger, the FCC has finally issued draft interference rules to limit interference between Satellite Digital Audio Service (SDARS, aka Satellite Radio) and the Wireless Communication Services (WCS). A bitter battle between the two services has ensued for years as the WCS providers have been trying to take advantage of the frequencies on either side of the satellite radio band.

The proposed rules will finally give clarity to the repeater issues. Sirius XM will finally get the coveted blanket authority to operate repeaters under a certain power level. It will also give SDARS a 2.5 MHz guardband to protect against interference to the satellite radio service.

The WCS providers will finally be able to make use of its valuable frequency. Unfortunately for SDARS, this frequency band once set aside for satellite radio will no longer be even a dream for satellite radio. Mobile internet users will benefit. Some SDARS repeaters may have to be altered or moved or decommissioned.

The saga has not ended quite yet. The FCC is requesting comments on the proposed rules. The comment period is short, only 2 weeks. Sirius XM has requested a 2 week extension. The WCS Coalition seems to be saying, "Let's get this over with". It is clearly not happy with the rules, but wants to move forward. It rightly accuses Sirius XM of delay tactics. No doubt, Sirius XM has legitimate reasons to fear interference from the WCS, but it could also have ulterior motives to make this frequency band worthless to all, except SDARS, of course. The Coalition believes Sirius XM is delaying because it will bring new competion:

"And, adoption of the new rules will subject Sirius XM to new competition from WCS-enabled mobile broadband that provides the public with mobile access to free services like Pandora, Slacker and a range of Internet radio services that largely duplicate, if not improve upon, Sirius XM’s offerings."

The statement clearly shows the animosity between the two services and the Coalition could not help be take a swipe at Sirius XM. In any case, Sirius XM will delay the rules to the bitter end. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain.

The rules please no one, so it must be a good balance between the two services. We say, "Let's get it over with and move on, Sirius XM."

xm sirius satellite radio stocks patent patents trademark copyright experimental licenses wcs eas invest investing fcc

Jump to :: Satellite Radio Techworld Home Page ::

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sirius XM to Broadcast Earthquake Emergency Relief Channel in Haiti

Sirius XM requested and received a Special Temporary Authority to broadcast a Haiti emergency relief information channel. The channel will be broadcast in Haiti by the newly launched FM-5 geostationary satellite. The channel is available free of charge, no activation required. The broadcast will either be in Creole language from the Voice of American or from a local radio station that has lost its ability to broadcast.

Sirius is working with the State Department to deliver 500 Sirius XM radios, plus boomboxes capable of operating from batteries. This might be a great way to make good use of satellite radios and boom boxes that are no longer in use, if there were means to collect, deliver, and distribute the radios.

xm sirius satellite radio stocks patent patents trademark copyright experimental licenses wcs eas invest investing fcc

Jump to :: Satellite Radio Techworld Home Page ::

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Satellite Radio Comes to Puerto Rico

On October 23, 2009, Sirius XM filed an application with the FCC International Bureau to operate repeaters in Puerto Rico for 60 days. The FCC granted this application on November 05. Satellite Radio is coming to Puerto Rico alas! Sirius XM also filed an application for the standard 180 day license to operate repeaters in Puerto Rico on October 30. It is just a formality at this point.

For all those in Puerto Rico, the wait is over. Sit back and enjoy the music.

Edit: As expected, the FCC granted Sirius XM the standard 180 license to operate repeaters in Puerto Rico on December 10, 2009. The grant authorized two repeaters, one in San Juan and the other in Bayamon.

xm sirius satellite radio stocks patent patents trademark copyright experimental licenses wcs eas invest investing fcc

Jump to :: Satellite Radio Techworld Home Page ::

Friday, September 04, 2009

XM Receives Grant to Launch and Operate XM5 an In-Orbit Spare

XM Radio has applied for and has been granted permission to launch and operate XM-5 as an in-orbit spare. It will also include the Sirius Satellite Radio frequencies and will be able to serve as a spare for both systems. XM plans to launch in the first quarter of 2010.

xm sirius satellite radio stocks patent patents trademark copyright experimental licenses wcs eas invest investing fcc

Jump to :: Satellite Radio Techworld Home Page ::

Monday, March 30, 2009

XM Seeks to Expand it Band of Frequencies

XM, the wholly owned subsidiary of Sirius XM Radio, has filed an application to expand it range of frequencies to include the Sirius Satellite Radio band of frequencies. Previously, XM operated in the 2332.5-2345 MHz band, while Sirius operated in the 2320-2332.5. XM now seeks permission to operate over the entire satellite radion band from 2320 MHz to 2345 MHz. The stated purpose is to allow Sirius XM to design, test, and demonstate its terrestrial repeater network in order to optimize the network prior to deployment. Although the repeater networks operate in a different way, this could be the first step towards consolidating the two repeater networks. One also has to wonder if this could be a prelude to moving towards one satellite constellation.

Update: Application granted on May 14, 2009.

xm sirius satellite radio stocks patent patents trademark copyright experimental licenses wcs eas invest investing fcc

Jump to :: Satellite Radio Techworld Home Page ::

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

XM Sirius Readies for Launch of Geostationary Satellite

Sirius XM filed an application today with the FCC IB "to use the S- and X-band antennas on its Ellenwood, Georgia earth station (Call sign E080168) to provide launch and early orbit phase (“LEOP”) services to, and in orbit testing (“IOT”) of, its FM-5 satellite (call sign S2710)." The launch of its FM-5 geostationary satellite is scheduled to launch on June 29, 2009 into the 96 degree W.L. orbit. This will be the first geostationary satellite in the old Sirius constellation. The satellite will improve the reception of satellite radio in the US and Canada.

xm sirius satellite radio stocks patent patents trademark copyright experimental licenses wcs eas invest investing fcc

Jump to :: Satellite Radio Techworld Home Page ::

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Satellite Radio In Puerto Rico

As many of you may have surmised, I have been away for a while. I still have a day job. The vast majority of my time has been spent in China over the past year or so. Anyway, this may be a bit of old news. When the merger between XM and Sirius was approved last year, one of the conditions was to bring satellite radio to Puerto Rico. In keeping with this condition, on October 27, 2008, Sirius XM filed an application to operate low powered repeaters (less than 2 KW) in Puerto Rico. These repeaters would be used to bring satellite radio to Puerto Rico, complete with repeaters to fill in the gaps. The FCC is yet to act on this application.

Twenty repeaters are currently planned as follows:

Westernbank World Plaza, 268 Munoz Rivera Avenue, San Juan, PR

Edificio Union Plaza, Avenue Ponce De Leon #416, San Juan, PR

Las Caramelitas, Avenue Ponce De Leon, San Juan, PR

Santa Anna Apartments, Villa Caparra, Avenue Luis Vgoreaux, Guaynabo, PR

PR Telephone Company, 1513 Avenue F.D. Roosevelt, Guaynabo, PR

Plaza Del Prado, CARR 833 Calle Los Filtros, Guaynabo, PR

Monserate Towers, Monserate Avenue I, Carolina, PR

Sona Industrial, Marginal Baldorioty De Castro B-24, Carolina PR

San Anton Apartments, Calle Roman Figueroa Castro, Carolina, PR

Riverside Plaza, 74 Calle Santa Cruz, Bayamon, PR

Torres del Parque, Avenue Federico Motilla 1700, Bayamon, PR

Caribe Hilton, 1 San Geronimo St., San Juan, PR

Pazada, # 2 Avenue De La Constitucion, San Juan, PR

Ashford Imperial, 1302 Ashford Avenue, Condado, San Juan, PR

Coral Beach I, 5859 Avenue Isla Verde, Carolina, PR

Condo Mundo Feliz, Calle Rodriguez Emma #1, Carolina, PR

Cooperativa De Viviendas, Torres De Carolina, Carolina, PR

PR Telephone Company, Power St, Ponce, PR

Condo El Mirador, Avenue University, Ponce, PR

Caguas Tower, Bonneville Terrace, Calle 2, Caguas, PR

xm sirius satellite radio stocks patent patents trademark copyright experimental licenses wcs eas invest investing fcc

Jump to :: Satellite Radio Techworld Home Page ::

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sirius XM to Test New Modulators

Earlier this month, Sirius XM filed for an experimental application to test new FM modulators. It plans to test up to 500 units nationwide. One has to wonder whether or not Sirius XM will seek volunteers to assist in this quest.

xm sirius satellite radio stocks patent patents trademark copyright experimental licenses wcs eas invest investing fcc

Jump to :: Satellite Radio Techworld Home Page ::

Thursday, May 29, 2008

XM Patent Application for Sending and Receiving Images

Today, XM had a patent application published for a "System and method for sending and receiving images via wireless audio channels". The application applies not only to satellite radio but to all digital radio including HD Radio and Digital AM. It is not related to real time video. It appears that still images are captured from digital cameras or video recorders or other sources and encoded into the audio stream as 120 X 120 to 176 X 220 pixel images. The images are synchronized to the relevant audio to create a picture show.

The only question is, "What took you so long?" It seems like an obvious application and we thought it would have been done on the latest generation of the Stilleto.

xm sirius satellite radio stocks patent patents trademark copyright experimental licenses wcs eas invest investing fcc

Jump to :: Satellite Radio Techworld Home Page ::

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

US Electronics Makes Commonsense Proposal

Last week, US Electronics make a commonsense proposal on the open sourcing of satellite radio receivers. It is difficult to argue with this proposal or its benefits to consumers. Left to the merged entity, satellite radio will do what benefits satellite radio. With open sourcing, the consumer wins. Actually, it is not a bad deal for satellite radio either. It gets them out of the design of the satellite radio receivers and lets them focus on what they do best, producing great entertainment.

First, US Electronics proposes the following restrictions:

1. Sirius shall not directly or indirectly engage in the design, manufacture or distribution of satellite radio receivers.

2. Sirius shall not enter into exclusive agreements with any manufacturer, distributor, retailer, partner or auto manufacturer that limits the availability of hardware capable of receiving SDARS signal by consumers.

3. Sirius shall not participate in setting, influence or seek to influence, directly or indirectly, the retail price paid by consumers to acquire any satellite radio receiver or ancillary hardware used to support the operation of a satellite radio receiver except through mechanisms allowed pursuant to D.2., below.

All of these conditions are necessary for open sourcing to work. Next, US Electronics would require that satellite radio publish the technical requirements to use the satellite radio chipsets. Basic stuff. Manufacturers have got to know how to use the chipsets.

US Electronics also proposes to make any subsidies available on a non-discriminatory basis. Satellite radio would not be allowed to favor any manufacturer in any way. No manufacturer is at a disadvantage. Sales and marketing would also be made on a non-discriminatory basis.

Finally, although not specific on this point, they propose a means of monitoring and enforcing open sourcing. Without enforcement, the requirement has no bite. Whatever the means of enforcement, it must be better that the enforcement of the interoperable receivers, which never happened in any practical way.

We find little fault with this proposal and urge the Commission to accept it.

xm sirius satellite radio stocks patent patents trademark copyright experimental licenses wcs eas invest investing fcc

Jump to :: Satellite Radio Techworld Home Page ::

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Wistron-Neweb Unveils New Stratus 5 Radio

Wistron-Neweb received certification for its new Stratus 5 Sirius Satellite Radio today (FCC ID NKRUPASV5). It has been a long while since we have seen a new receiver. We didn't expect to see any new radios until the merger decision was made. The receiver is strictly for the Sirius Satellite Radio signals and has NO provisions for receiving the XM signals.

User Manual
External Photos 1
External Photos 2
Internal Photos 1
Internal Photos 2

xm sirius satellite radio stocks patent patents trademark copyright experimental licenses wcs eas invest investing fcc

Jump to :: Satellite Radio Techworld Home Page ::

Friday, May 16, 2008

Sirius' Application to Launch New Non-Geostationary Satellite Dismissed

Yesterday, CD Radio's (aka Sirius Satellite Radio) application to launch a new non-geostationary satellite was dismissed. The reason for dismissal was because Sirius failed to provide adequate information for the end of life disposal of the satellite. Sirius can reapply. The Commission advised Sirius to provide the following information when it resubmits its application:

First, we ask that Satellite CD Radio provide additional information concerning its post-mission disposal plans for the FM-6 satellite as part of any future filing. As part of its current application, Satellite CD Radio proposes to dispose of the FM-6 satellite at end of life by circularizing the orbital altitude of the satellite to an operational perigee of approximately 46,325 kilometers.’ In any future filing, Satellite CD Radio should confirm the inclination of the disposal orbit, as well as provide any information it has supporting the long-term stability of the disposal orbit.

Second, space station antennas in the fixed-satellite service must be designed to provide a crosspolarization isolation such that the ratio of the on axis co-polar gain to the cross-polar gain of the antenna in the assigned frequency band shall be at least 30 dB within its primary coverage area.’ Although Satellite CD Radio states in its Attachment A to its application that the cross polarization isolation of the satellite feeder link receiver antenna will exceed 30 decibels (dB) within the -3 dB gain contour of the receive frequency, this value stated as 25 dB in its schedule S filling. We request that Satellite CD Radio confirm the actual cross-polar isolation of its antenna as part of any future filing.

Update: Sirius has since refiled: Narrative, Tech Description, Technical Supplement

xm sirius satellite radio stocks patent patents trademark copyright experimental licenses wcs eas invest investing fcc

Jump to :: Satellite Radio Techworld Home Page ::

Friday, April 11, 2008

OT: Enforcement Bureau Issues Major Notices of Apparent Liability

The Enforcement Bureau (EB) of the FCC has issued numerous high dollar notices of apparent liability (NAL) "for failure to place the required Consumer Alert label immediately adjacent to and clearly associated with television receiving equipment" warning them that certain TVs were analog only and would require converters after February 17, 2009. Here are some samples:

CompUSA $168,000
Fry's Electronics $384,000
Target $296,000
Best Buy $280,000
Circuit City $712,000
Wal-Mart/Sam's $992,000
Sears Roebuck $1,096,000

In addition, the EB hit numerous manufacturers with NALs for failure to comply with V-Chip requirements:

Polaroid $775,000
Proview Technology $300,000
Precor Incorporated $357,900
Syntax-Brillian $1,277,100


xm sirius satellite radio stocks patent patents trademark copyright experimental licenses wcs eas invest investing fcc

Jump to :: Satellite Radio Techworld Home Page ::

Thursday, April 10, 2008

OT: Commercial Mobile Alert System First Report and Order

Yesterday, April 09, 2008, the FCC adopted the Commercial Mobile Alert System First Report and Order (CMAS First Report and Order). The purpose of the CMAS is to provide warning messages to the public on mobile devices, such as cell phones. At present, participation is voluntary. In its release today, the Commission described the system as follows:

Wireless carriers that choose to participate in the CMAS will transmit text-based alerts to their subscribers. As technology evolves, the CMAS may eventually include audio and video services to transmit emergency alerts to the public. To ensure that people with disabilities who subscribe to wireless services receive these emergency alerts, the FCC adopted rules that will require wireless carriers who participate in the CMAS to transmit messages with both vibration cadence and audio attention signals.

Consumers can expect to receive three types of messages via their cell phones and other mobile devices from participating wireless carriers, including:

· Presidential Alerts - national emergency-related alerts delivered to the American public that would preempt any other pending alerts;

· Imminent Threat Alerts - alerts with information on emergencies that may pose an imminent risk to people’s lives or well-being; and

· Child Abduction Emergency/AMBER Alerts - alerts related to missing or endangered children due to an abduction or runaway situation.

The participating wireless carriers will be required to comply with Order within 10 months after the Commission designates an agency to collect and transmit the alerts to the wireless carriers.

You can read the Report and Order at statements here:

http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-08-99A1.pdf
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-08-99A2.pdf
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-08-99A3.pdf
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-08-99A4.pdf
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-08-99A5.pdf
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-08-99A6.pdf


xm sirius satellite radio stocks patent patents trademark copyright experimental licenses wcs eas invest investing fcc

Jump to :: Satellite Radio Techworld Home Page ::

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Sirius to Launch New NGSO Satellite

Sirius recently filed an application for authority to launch and operate a new non-geostationary orbit satellite (NGSO, FM-6). The satellite will replace TWO existing NGSO satellites (FM-1 and FM-2) that are currently in operation. FM-6 would be placed half way between the where FM-1 and FM-2 operate today. The launch is expected to take place in 2010. Sirius has already been granted authority to launch a geostationary satellite (FM-5). This will significantly alter its existing satellite constellation. It will eventually operate with two non geostationary satellites (FM-3, FM-6) and one geostationary satellite (FM-5). Sirius explains it as follows:

The enhanced geographic coverage anticipated from the successful launch of FM-5, coupled with satellite technology advancements included on FM-5 and FM-6, will allow Sirius to reduce its GSO constellation from three to two satellites.

FM-6 will have twice the transmit power of FM-1 and FM-2.

In the appplication, there is this little nugget of information concerning its overlay modulation currently used for backseat video:

The digital stream throughput is 1.35 Mb/s. The additional transmission capacity will be used for providing subscribers with more audio channel programming and data and is currently providing three compressed video channels primarily for vehicle back seat viewing. Each video is compressed to approximately 255kb/s.

This gives us some ideas on what we might see for the number of audio channels. Presently, music is compressed to 44 kbps; voice, 20 kbps; and 16 kbps for low quality audio such as traffic and weather. The above implies spare capacity of 585 kbps, enough for 13 more music channels.


xm sirius satellite radio stocks patent patents trademark copyright experimental licenses wcs eas invest investing fcc

Jump to :: Satellite Radio Techworld Home Page ::


Thursday, March 13, 2008

IBM Patent Application for Satellite Radio Receiver

We came across this interesting IBM patent application this morning:

United States Patent Application 20080064325
Kind Code A1
Bates; Cary Lee ; et al. March 13, 2008

SATELLITE RADIO RECEIVER THAT DISPLAYS INFORMATION REGARDING ONE OR MORE CHANNELS THAT ARE NOT CURRENTLY BEING LISTENED TO

Abstract

A satellite radio receiver includes a display that displays information regarding one or more channels that are not currently being listened to. For a music channel, this information may include the name of the artist, the song title, time left in the song, etc. For a news channel, this information may include the news currently being discussed, the name of the news program, the time remaining, etc. For a sports channel, this information may include the name of the channel, a description of the sporting event, the time remaining, etc. The preferred embodiments include different ways to select which channels are "favorites" and therefore displayed on the display. One way is to keep track of which channels are most frequently listened to, and to display information regarding those channels.


Inventors: Bates; Cary Lee; (Rochester, MN) ; Nelson; Eric John; (Rochester, MN) ; Santosuosso; John Matthew; (Rochester, MN)
Correspondence Name and Address:
    MARTIN & ASSOCIATES, LLC
P.O. BOX 548
CARTHAGE
MO
64836-0548
US
Assignee Name and Adress: INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORPORATION
New Orchard Road
Armonk
NY
10504

Serial No.: 941477
Series Code: 11
Filed: November 16, 2007
U.S. Current Class: 455/3.02
U.S. Class at Publication: 455/003.02
Intern'l Class: H04H 20/00 20080101 H04H020/00


xm sirius satellite radio stocks patent patents trademark copyright experimental licenses wcs eas invest investing fcc

Jump to :: Satellite Radio Techworld Home Page ::