Saturday, September 29, 2007

XM Receives Extension on Statement of Use

Remember the trademark applications for Remora and XM Pix? Both of these applications created massive speculation. No products have been introduced yet; however, XM has received a Notice of Allowance for both trademarks. It is up to XM to submit a Statement of Use before the trademark applications are granted. XM recently received extensions for the Statement of Use for both. It is the second such extension for Remora. What does this mean? It means they haven't given up on whatever inspired the applications for Remora and XM Pix. Maybe we will see something yet.

Interestingly, XM also filed for an extension of time to file a Statement of Use this past Thursday for "XM Radio". Our guess is that XM is so preoccupied with the merger that this one fell through the cracks.

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Friday, September 28, 2007

International Bureau Moving Expeditiously on Satellite Radio Applications

Recently, the International Bureau of the FCC has been moving expeditiously on satellite radio applications by XM and Sirius, granting authority on six applications, no less, in the last 2 weeks. In addition, two other XM applications were disposed of when made moot by the authority to operate repeaters in Miami and Nevada (XM withdrew these applications). No applications were denied during this period.

Since the FCC establish average power as the method of measurement (at least until the final repeater rules are established), the WCS Coalition has not had any grounds to protest repeaters operating at or below 2,000 Watt EiRP. The more controversial applications are still pending.

After the FM modulator fiasco, the FCC moved slowly on all applications. The FCC is now moving at a more reasonable pace, except for the more important and controversial applications. Is it because of the current visibility of satellite radio due to the merger? or perhaps the satellite radio providers are back into the good graces of the FCC? or are XM's and Sirius' arch nemeses too preoccupied with the merger to put up much of a fight? or maybe that the FCC is just tired of NAB's and the WCS Coalition's continual whining? Perhaps it is all of the above.

Applications granted in the last two weeks:

XM:

SAT-STA-20070608-00079 Authority to drift XM-2 to the 85.2WL orbital location
SAT-STA-20070628-00091 Authority to operate a substitute low power terrestrial repeater (less than 2 kW EIRP) for one hundred (180) days in Miami
SAT-STA-20070628-00093 Authority to operate a modified substitute low power terrestrial repeater (less than 2 kW EIRP) for one hundred eighty (180) days in Las Vegas, Nevada
SES-STA-20070612-00795 Authority to conduct TT&C operations in conjunction with the relocation of XM-2

Sirius:

SAT-STA-20070719-00104 Authority to operate five (5) low-power satellite digital audio radio service terrestrial repeaters
SAT-STA-20070907-00121 Authority for 30 days to operate terrestrial repeaters and signal boosters at trade shows between October 8, 2007 and November 2, 2007



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Sirius Submits Application for 15 New Repeaters

Today, Sirius applied for authority to install 15 new repeaters operating at 2,000 Watt EiRP average. Repeaters are planned for the following locations:

1770 Lower Rosewell Rd, Marietta, GA
701 Lee Street, Des Plaines, IL
1705 Peters Road, Irving, TX 75061
903 S. Mayhill Road, Denton, TX
8509 East Northbelt Drive, Humble, TX
1360 Ocean Parkway, Brooklyn, NY
830 East 163rd Street, Bronx, NY
4077 Park Avenue, Bronx, NY
60 Turner Place, Brooklyn, NY
1261 Des Peres Rd., Des Peres, MO
9144 Pershall Rd., Hazelwood, MO
4070 Boot Bay Rd., Plant City, FL
18323 Flagship Dr., Lutz, FL
5233 Willana Court, Tampa, FL
4438 Goldernod Rd, Winter Park, FL

Update: Application granted on December 10, 2007

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

XM Granted Patent for Method and Apparatus for Determining Location in a Satellite Communication System

Yesterday, September 25, 2007, XM was granted a patent for a Method and Apparatus for Determining Location in a Satellite Communication System. The application was one that initially struck fear in the heart of the NAB. The NAB feared that the technology could be used to implement local advertising in satellite radio receivers. This patent describes the method of using two satellites and terrestrial repeaters for determine approximate location within the coverage area. The patent has many applications and is consistent with some XM's other applications for regional information provided to dealerships. The grant of the patent should ruffle a few feathers once again.

This patent is among a string of patents that have been granted to XM recently. This was the fourth patent granted over the last 3 months. Others include:

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR CONTINUOUS CROSS-CHANNEL INTERLEAVING

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR NAVIGATING, PREVIEWING AND SELECTING BROADBAND CHANNELS VIA A RECEIVING USER INTERFACE

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR TIMING RECOVERY IN AN OFDM SYSTEM

Sirius was also granted an interesting patent at the end of July:

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR CREATING AND RECEIVING PERSONALIZED BROADCASTS

One has to wonder whether a service such as Slacker would run afoul of this patent.

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Sirius Receives Authority for 5 New Repeaters

Today, Sirius received grant of authority to operate five new repeaters:

Cincinnati (84-23-19.0, 39-13-10.0)
St. Louis (90-31-53.4, 38-45-10.2)
(2) Houston (95-31-02.70, 30-00-35.60), (95-25-35.4, 30-07-18.6)
Miami (80-26-25.9, 25-33-44.5)

The FCC has been reacting reasonably with the repeater requests since accepting average power as the measure as opposed to peak power. Sirius applied back in July. All of the above repeaters are rated at 2,000 Watt EiRP average.

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

OT: Sea Launch Readies for DTV 11

Last Tuesday, September 18, 2007, Boeing Frequency Management Services filed for an experimental license on behalf of Sea Launch to test the next DirecTV satellite, DTV 11, at the payload processing center and in port prior to moving the launch vehicle to the equatorial launch site. This should be the first launch since the catastrophic launch failure on January 30, 2007.

Testing is scheduled between November 01, 2007 and May 01, 2007. Launch will take place shortly after testing.

Sea Launch provided the launch services for the XM satellites.

Earlier this year, Sea Launch discovered that it had failed to properly transfer licenses in 2004 when it re-incorporated. Since that time, Sea Launch employed the services of Boeing's Frequency Management Services to manage the regulatory functions.

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XM/Sirius Reject WCS Coalition's Proposal

In a joint filing this past Wednesday, September 19, 2007, Sirius and XM rejected the WCS Coalition proposal to coexist in the 2.3 GHz band. On October 18, 2006, Sirius petitioned the FCC to established the final rules for repeaters. XM followed in January 2007 with its support of the petition. XM took the opportunity to remind the Commission of why the stringent rules were applied to the WCS band.

In its proposal, the Coalition offered a number of compromises. In their joint filling, XM and Sirius successfully refute the arguments put forth by the coalition. However, there were areas of agreement as quoted below:

• blanket licensing of satellite radio repeaters;

• exemption of very low power repeater transmitters from licensing restrictions;

• relying on 16 dB band pass filters in WCS transceivers to reduce potential interference from satellite radio repeaters;

• assessing interference levels via average power measurement;

• establishing inter-licensee coordination to share details about proposed new deployments; and

• commencement of a rulemaking proceeding that will formulate simultaneous changes to both Part 27 and Part 25 rules.

The main areas of concern to XM and Sirius are:

* The mobile services would "cause crippling interference to Satellite Radio"

* Limiting transmit power rather than power flux density would cause undue interference to satellite radio

* Refusal of the Coalition to accept the grandfathering of existing repeaters.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Sirius Receives Certification on 3 New Radios

Sirius' 3 manufacturers each recently received certification on a new radio, including the new Stiletto 2 and cradle by Wistron Neweb; the Sportster 5 by Ki Ryung; and the Stratus 4 by Humax.

The Stiletto 2 comes with a 1615 mAH, 3.7V, Li ion polymer battery. The battery life is given as follows:










In addition to the 2 GB internal memory, the Stilletto 2 can accommodate up to an 8 GB microSD card. It is located under the battery, so the battery has to be removed in order to install it. The microSD cannot be used to store Sirius content.

Up to 10 hours of individual songs can be recorded. It will hold up to 100 hours of scheduled or block recordings. Up to 800 MB of purchased or subscribed MP3 or WMA content can be downloaded to the unit. Radio replays are up to the available memory. The unit integrates with the Yahoo! Musicbox software to manage playlists and download music.

It accommodates the 802.11b/g WiFi standard.

Sounds like another winner for Sirius.



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