Friday, June 29, 2007

Sirius Receives Authority to Operate 15 Low Powered Repeaters

Finally, there has been some movement on the repeaters. On Friday, Sirius received grant of authority to operate 15 new, low powered repeaters.

The repeaters are all 2,000 Watt EIRP. The repeaters include 5 in Atlanta; 2 in Chicago; 1 in Cleveland; 1 in Detroit; 1 in Kansas City;' 1 in New York; 1 in Orlando; 1 in Phoenix; and 2 in Tampa.


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Thursday, June 21, 2007

National Council of Women's Organizations Lends Support to Merger

Yet another organization has given its support to the XM-Sirius merger. Today, the National Council of Women's Organizations, representing 11 million Amercian women, gave its enthusiastic support.

It seems that almost all of the non-NAB supported groups are endorsing the merger. This should play well with the FCC. And congress should pay attention to the force behind satellite radio. Having said that, we still believe that this merger has little chance of passing.

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Sirius Antenna Diversity Patent Application

United States Patent Application 20070142009
Kind Code A1

Scarpa; Carl ; et al.

June 21, 2007

Systems and methods for antenna diversity combining for satellite radio signals

Abstract
Systems and methods are presented for digital antenna diversity combining. In exemplary embodiments of the present invention, at least two antenna signal paths can be communicably connected to a receiver. Each antenna signal path can be provided with an RF tuner communicably connected to a demodulator, which can estimate the signal to noise ratio (SNR) and time of arrival of its respective antenna signal. In exemplary embodiments of the present invention, a time alignment circuit can be communicably connected to each antenna signal path, and a maximum ratio combiner can be communicably connected to the time alignment circuit. In operation, the time alignment circuit can use the time of arrival estimate to align the multiple signals and the maximum ratio combiner can use the SNR estimate obtained for each antenna signal to respectively weight each signal and thereby generate a combined output signal. In exemplary embodiments of the present invention, a switch diversity combiner can be further provided, and can quickly detect when an antenna signal is entering a fade, allowing the maximum ratio combiner to set that signal's weight to zero. In exemplary embodiments of the present invention, a digital diversity combiner can be provided in a stand alone integrated circuit, or can be integrated in a larger integrated circuit, such as, for example, a satellite radio overlay processor.

Inventors:
Scarpa; Carl; (Plainsboro, NJ) ; Sazzad; Sharif; (Ewing, NJ) ; Strolle; Christopher; (Fort Washington, PA)

Correspondence Name and Address:
KRAMER LEVIN NAFTALIS & FRANKEL LLP;INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY DEPARTMENT
1177 AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS
NEW YORK
NY
10036
US

Assignee Name and Adress:
Sirius Satellite Radio, Inc.New yorkNY
Serial No.: 607383
Series Code: 11
Filed: December 1, 2006
U.S. Current Class:455/132; 455/272
U.S. Class at Publication:455/132; 455/272
Intern'l Class: H04B 7/08 20060101 H04B007/08; H04B 1/06 20060101 H04B001/06

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Semi OT: Honda Experimental License

This Honda application popped up yesterday. It is no big deal, really, but we find it interesting the process that certain OEMs go through to improve their product. In this application Honda is evaluating the affect of body design on receiving antennae. Satellite radio is among those tested.

The following frequencies will be tested:

FM (87.7 – 107.9 MHz)
TV (55.25 – 83.25 MHz, 175.25 – 885.25 MHz)
AMPS (806 – 902 MHz)
PCS (1850 – 1990 MHz)
SDARS (2320 – 2345 MHz)

Testing will take place in the Honda R& D facility in Ohio.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Sirius Granted Authority to Operate 5 Signal Boosters

Sirius was granted authority today for the application described below:

"Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. requests Special Temporary Authority to operate five signal boosters at its National Sales Meeting in Plainsboro, NJ from June 17-20, 2007."

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Monday, June 11, 2007

XM XpressR

Details are also out on the XM XpressR. This is a sister radio to the Audiovox XpressEZ. Both are made by Audiovox, but only the XpressR is registered under XM. The user guide is here. One can see photos of it here. To see what it under the hood, see these photos.

The release is drawing near.

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Audiovox XpressEZ

Details are out on the new Audiovox XM XpressEZ radio, apparently known internally as project Bullwinkle. One can download the manual here. Most of you have probably seen the photos on Orbitcast, but if not, here are more photos. And, finally, for those that want to see what's under the hood, you can find those photos here.

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

XM Takes Measures to Mitigate Service Outages

Last Friday, XM filed for an immediate 60 day Special Temporary Authority (STA) to drift XM2 to the 85.2 orbital location near XM3. The measure is to mitigate any service outage such as XM experienced on Monday, May 21.

XM uses the east coast satellite XM3 to feed its repeater network. On Monday, May 21, things went awry and XM3 was temporarily out of service. Not only was the satellite signal lost, but the repeater network went down, because XM3 is used to feed the repeaters.

As you may recall, XM had to replace the original satellites, XM1 and XM2, affectionately known as Roll and Rock, because their solar panels began to fail prematurely. XM 3 and XM4 are now fully operational. XM3 is orbital location 85.1. XM4 is at 115. The crippled satellites, XM1 and XM2, are presently at 115.1 degrees, near XM4.

XM intends to use XM1 and XM2 to replace XM3 in the event of a failure. Therefore, XM 1 and XM2 both eventually will be drifted to the 85.2 degree orbital location. XM already has an STA to drift XM1.

The original plan was to have XM1 andXM3 together and XM2 and XM4 together, such that XM3 and XM4 would each have a backup. They apparently decided it was better to have XM1 and XM2 together, such that they could fully replace XM3 in the event of a failure. XM3, as they found out, is much more critical.

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Breaking News: The Merger Time Clock Has Started

DA 07-2417

Released: June 8, 2007

MEDIA BUREAU ACTION

SIRIUS SATELLITE RADIO INC. AND XM SATELLITE RADIO HOLDINGS INC. SEEK APPROVAL TO TRANSFER CONTROL OF FCC AUTHORIZATIONS AND LICENSES

MB Docket No. 07-57

PLEADING CYCLE ESTABLISHED

Comments/Petitions Due: July 9, 2007

Responses/Oppositions Due: July 24, 2007

On March 20, 2007, Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. (“Sirius”) and XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. (“XM”) (collectively, the “Applicants”) submitted applications seeking consent to transfer control of Commission licenses and authorizations held by Sirius, XM, and their subsidiaries pursuant to Section 310(d) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.[1] Under the proposed transaction and pursuant to an Agreement and Plan of Merger dated February 19, 2007, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sirius, Vernon Merger Corporation, will be merged with and into XM, with XM being the surviving entity of this subsidiary merger.[2] The surviving entity will be controlled by a new Board of Directors, selected by both Sirius and XM, and its equity ownership will be represented equally by former shareholders of XM and Sirius prior to the merger.

GENERAL INFORMATION

The Consolidated Application for approval of the transfer of control of the licenses and authorizations referenced herein, upon initial review, has been accepted for filing. The Commission reserves the right to return any application if, upon further examination, it is determined to be defective and not in conformance with the Commission’s rules, regulations, or policies.

Interested parties must file petitions to deny, comments, or informal comments no later than July 9, 2007. Persons that do not file petitions to deny may not seek reconsideration of the Commission’s decision regarding the transfer of the licenses at issue nor appeal a final decision to the courts but may otherwise participate in the proceeding. Responses or oppositions to such submissions must be filed no later than July 24, 2007. All filings concerning matters referenced in this Public Notice should refer to MB Docket No. 07-57, as well as the specific file numbers of the individual applications or other matters to which the filings pertain (unless a filing pertains to all applications).

Under the Commission’s current procedures for the submission of filings and other documents, submissions in this matter may be filed electronically (i.e., through ECFS) or by hand delivery to the Commission’s Massachusetts Avenue location noted below.

· Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the ECFS: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/. In completing the transmittal screen, filers should include their full name, U.S. Postal Service mailing address, and MB Docket No. 07-57. Parties may also submit an electronic comment by Internet e-mail. To get filing instructions, filers should send an e-mail to ecfs@fcc.gov, and include the following words in the body of the message, “get form.” A sample form and directions will be sent in response.

§ Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and four copies of each filing.

Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail (although we continue to experience delays in receiving U.S. Postal Service mail). All filings must be addressed to the Commission’s Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.

§ The Commission’s contractor will receive hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission’s Secretary at 236 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Suite 110, Washington, DC 20002. The filing hours at this location are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All hand deliveries must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes must be disposed of before entering the building.

§ Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743.

§ U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail must be addressed to 445 12th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20554.

§ People with Disabilities: To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an e-mail to fcc504@fcc.gov or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (tty).

In addition, one copy of each submission must be sent to each of the following:

1. The Commission’s duplicating contractor, Best Copy and Printing, Inc., Portals II, 445 12th Street, S.W.,

Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554, telephone 1-800-378-3160, or via e-mail at www.bcpiweb.com;

2. Rosemary C. Harold, Media Bureau, Room 3-C486; e-mail Rosemary.Harold@fcc.gov;[3]

3. Tracy Waldon, Media Bureau, Room 3-C488; e-mail Tracy.Waldon@fcc.gov;

4. Royce Sherlock, Media Bureau, Room 2-C360; e-mail Royce.Sherlock@fcc.gov;

5. Jim Bird, Office of General Counsel, Room 8-C824; e-mail Jim.Bird@fcc.gov;

6. Gardner Foster, International Bureau, Room 6-C477; e-mail Gardner.Foster@fcc.gov;

7. Marilyn Simon, International Bureau, Room 6-A633; e-mail Marilyn.Simon@fcc.gov;

8. Marcia Glauberman, Media Bureau, Room 2-C264; e-mail Marcia.Glauberman@fcc.gov;

9. Amy Brett, Media Bureau, Room 2-C134; e-mail Amy.Brett@fcc.gov;

10. Erin McGrath, Wireless Bureau, Room 6338 (Portals I); e-mail Erin.McGrath@fcc.gov.

Copies of the Consolidated Application and any subsequently filed documents in this matter may be obtained from Best Copy and Printing, Inc., Portals II, 445 12th Street, SW, Room CY-B402, Washington, D.C.

20554, telephone 1-800-378-3160, or via-e-mail www.bcpiweb.com. The Consolidated Application and any

associated documents are also available for public inspection and copying during normal reference room hours

at the following Commission office: FCC Reference Information Center, 445 12th Street, S.W., Room CY-

A257, Washington, D.C. 20554. These materials are also available electronically through the Commission’s

ECFS, which may be accessed on the Commission’s Internet website at http://www.fcc.gov. Additional

information regarding the transaction will be available on the FCC’s Office of General Counsel’s website,

http://www.fcc.gov/ogc, which will contain a fully indexed, unofficial listing and electronic copies of all

materials in this Docket.

For further information, contact Rosemary C. Harold, (202) 418-2533, Royce Sherlock, (202) 418-7030, or Marcia Glauberman, (202) 418-7046, of the Media Bureau. Press inquiries should be directed to Mary Diamond, (202) 418-2388. TTY: (202) 418-7172 or (888) 835-5322.

[FCC]
ATTACHMENT

The Consolidated Application filed by XM and Sirius includes applications pertaining to the Commission authorizations and licenses listed below. They are separated below by the type of authorization or license, and, within each category, listed by licensee/registrant name, application file number, call sign, and/or other service-specific information, as appropriate. Interested parties should refer to the Consolidated Application for a more detailed listing of the authorizations or licenses. Each of the Applicants’ subsidiaries or affiliates may hold multiple authorizations or licenses of a particular type. Parties should be aware that additional applications may have to be filed to identify any additional authorizations involved in this transaction.

Part 25 – Satellite Communications

File No. Licensee/Registrant Call Sign(s)

Satellite Space Stations

SAT-T/C-20070320-00054 XM Radio, Inc. S2118

S2119

S2616

S2617[4]

SAT-T/C-20070320-00053 Satellite CD Radio, Inc. S2105[5]

Satellite Earth Stations

SES-T/C-20070320-00380 XM Radio, Inc. E000158

E000724

E040204

SES-T/C-20070320-00379 Sirius Satellite Radio, Inc. E040363

E060276

E060277

E990291


Part 90- Wireless License

File No. Licensee Call Sign

0002948781 Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. WPTX369

Part 5- Experimental License

File No. Licensee Call Sign

004-EX-TC-2007 XM Radio, Inc. WB2XCA XD


[1] See 47 U.S.C. § 310(d); Applications of XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc., Transferor, and Sirius Satellite Radio Inc., Transferee, For Consent to Transfer Control, MB Docket No. 07-57 (filed March 20, 2007) (collectively, the “Consolidated Application”). On March 29, 2007, the Commission released a public notice designating this proceeding as “permit but disclose” for purposes of the Commission’s ex parte rules. See XM Satellite Radio Holdings, Inc. and Sirius Satellite Radio, Inc. Seek Approval To Transfer Control Of Licensee Entities Holding FCC Licenses and Other Authorizations, DA 07-1435, MB Docket No. 07-57 (rel. Mar. 29, 2007).

[2] A complete list of the licenses and authorizations held by Sirius and XM that are subject to the Consolidated Application is set forth in the Attachment.

[3] The street address for all Commission staff is 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.

[4] The following applications for special temporary authority (either pending or in effect) to operate terrestrial repeaters are associated with the XM Radio Inc. space stations: SAT-STA-20070222-00037; SAT-STA-20070222-00036; SAT-STA-20070205-00026; SAT-STA-20061211-00147; SAT-STA-20061114-00138; SAT-STA-20061013-00120; SAT-STA-20061013-00119; SAT-STA-20061002-00114; SAT-STA-20050712-00145; SAT-STA-20050601-00113; SAT-STA-20050307-00056; SAT-STA-20031219-00373; SAT-STA-20031112-00371; SAT-STA-20030409-00076; SAT-STA-20030325-00056; SAT-STA-20020815-00153; SAT-STA-20020311-00049; SAT-STA-20010712-00063; and SAT-STA-20070330-00059.

[5] The following applications for special temporary authority (either pending or in effect) to operate terrestrial repeaters are associated with the Satellite CD Radio, Inc. space stations: SAT-STA-20070327-00057; SAT-STA-20061208-00146; SAT-STA-20061207-00145; SAT-STA-20061107-00135; SAT-STA-20061107-00133; SAT-STA-20061107-00132; SAT-STA-20061107-00131; SAT-STA-20061013-00122; SAT-STA-20061013-00121; SAT-STA-20060623-00067; SAT-STA-20050601-00114; SAT-STA-20050301-00053; SAT-STA-20040623-00122; SAT-STA-20040623-00119; SAT-STA-20031106-00370; SAT-STA-20030411-00075; SAT-STA-20020222-00028; SAT-STA-20031219-00369; SAT-STA-20020312-00048; SAT-STA-20020827-00162; SAT-STA-20020827-00248; SAT-STA-20030827-00299; SAT-STA-20020312-00029; and SAT-STA-20010724-00064.



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Interoperable Technologies Patent Application

On May 17, 2007, Interoperable Technologies, a company formed by XM and Sirius to develop interoperatble radios, had a patent application disclosed for a radio receiver with a detachable controller. The controller periodically performs an authorization process with the receiver. Once authorized, the receiver sends the controller an enhance or reduce set of metadata, such as song titles and artists.

Why do this? Separating the receiver and controller allows greater flexibility in where the controller (user interface) is mounted, because it can be smaller. This is nothing new. The authorization process is key, allowing only authorized users to access the information, thus avoiding any copyright issues.

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Send Grandma to Fix Repeaters

We applaud those that have written the FCC about the repeater issues affecting satellite radio. One writer sent an email inquiring why it is taking so long to fix the problem, saying Grandma could have fixed the repeaters herself by now, and she doesn't even have any arms! Reminds me of an old electronics teacher in high school who used to always say, "My Grandma is slow, but she's old." Those words are applicable now. The FCC is taking too long to resolve the repeater issues. It is the subscriber that suffers. The FCC is not acting in the best public interest by avoiding making a decision.


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Here Rego Again

Rego is a trademark that just won't die. US Electronics filed for the trademark in December 2004. US Electronics received a notice of allowance in February 2006, but apparently decided to abandon it. A statement of use must be filed within 6 months. It October of 2006, US Electronics petitioned to revive the trademark process. In May 2007, it was officially considered abandoned because no use statement was filed. Later in the month, US Electronics petitioned once again to revive the trademark process. Yesterday, the latest petition was granted. The ill-fated Rego refuses to enter the dustbin of history. Maybe one day we will see the Rego make its appearance.

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Saturday, June 02, 2007

More Opposition from Congress

Senator Herb Kohl, Chairman, Sub-committee on Anti-Trust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights, has registered his opposition for the merger between XM and Siriusvto FCC Chairman Martin and the Assitant Attorney General, Anti-trust Divion, Barnett.

Representative Nancy Boyda, Kansas, also opposed the merger expressing her alarm over what it could do to local radio. She also used the same smear tactic as NAB regarding the repeaters.

We pronounce this merger DOA.

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Friday, June 01, 2007

Four Members of Congress Oppose Merger

Four members of congress have written letters to the Attorney General or the FCC Chairman opposing or questioning the merger between XM or Sirius. We suspect that if one were to follow the money, we would understand how they arrived at their position. The four members are:

Mike Doyle, D-PA
James T. Walsh, R-NY
John McHugh, R-NY
Kirsten E. Gillibrand, D-NY

For the most part, we don't disagree Doyle, although we think that he has some of his facts wrong concerning the combining of the two services. Walsh and McHugh use the smear tactic right out of the NAB playbook that satellite radio can't be trusted. Gillibrand states that the merger would threaten local radio. She is apparently ignoring that XM and Sirius also participate in the Amber Alerts.

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