WorldSpace’s New Digital Chips
[Satellite Today – 6-18-08] WorldSpace has signed a partnership deal with STMicroelectronics for European satellite digital radio chips, the company said June 17. STMicroelectronics will develop, manufacture and distribute chips for European Satellite Digital Radio (ESDR) receivers planned for a WorldSpace pan-European and Middle East service offering, starting with Italy in 2009.
The agreement between WorldSpace and ST is expected to lead to the first fully integrated device for channel decoding in ESDR receivers. Based on an open ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) standard, the ESDR technology enables WorldSpace to employ a hybrid satellite-terrestrial network, where its satellites deliver broad geographical coverage at low cost, while terrestrial transmitters improve reception quality in urban and suburban areas.
WorldSpace Satellite Radio’s service offering will include 40-50 channels of commercial-free music, news, sports, talk and other personalized programming such as traffic, navigation and music downloads directly from the satellite, to each of its markets in Europe. WorldSpace hopes to launch services first in Italy, with a launch slated for 2009, followed shortly thereafter by other major European and Middle East countries including Germany, Switzerland, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.