Re: Would you pay $10/month for a digital car radio subscription?

Rohit Khare (
Sun, 13 Dec 1998 11:17:57 -0800

Nothing in the company's statement rules out fixed use. They're just
not foolish enough to target that yet.

As the 10K quoth, "CD Radio is primarily a service for motorists."

It may be that fixed use -- i.e. offices -- i.e. muzak -- runs afoul
of all kinds of copyright and entrenched-competitor issues.

Note that their year-end 10K report from 97 only promised 50
channels. Why are they having to build their own satellite? Shouldn't
S-band audio be readily leasable? ("there currently are no commercial
satellites in orbit capable of transmitting S-band frequencies to the
United States") I suppose radios on satellites aren't as
reconfigurable as one hopes. Enemy of the State notwithstanding...

Now, what's with their interim launch plans -- will they even need
satellites to get Adam's $10 -- or mine?

"all outdoor locations where the vehicle has an unobstructed
line-of-sight with one of the Company's satellites or is within range
of one of the Company's terrestrial repeating transmitters."

I can't believe people still cite TELSTAR as hot suff :-)

" Satellite Design. The Company's satellites are of the Loral FS-1300
model series. This family of satellites has a total in-orbit operation
time of 220 years, and to date more than 52 such satellites have been
built or ordered, including 21 that are currently in production. The
satellites are designed to have a useful life of approximately 15
years. To ensure the durability of its satellites, the Company has
selected components and subsystems that have a demonstrated track
record on operational FS-1300 satellites, such as N-STAR, INTELSAT VII
and TELSTAR. In addition, a full series of ground tests will be
performed on each of the Company's satellites prior to launch in order
to detect assembly defects and avoid premature satellite failure.

Each satellite after deployment will be 103 feet long, 8 feet wide and
31 feet tall. "

The total cost of sats + launches is ~$650mn. So five
million-subscriber-years over the first year or two would cover

I can understand they'll make morphable cassette cartridges for front
and side loaders -- but how are they going to do this for CDs??
fiddling with the laser pickup seems ridiculously hard -- so I don't
believe the CD card. Or else they're locally retransmitting by FM,
limiting the eventual audio bandwidth again.

I wonder what MP3 does to their business. Could they have 500
channels? Better yet, have they been smart enough in protocol design
to accomodate large-scale buffering on the groundside and thus d/l of
full albums and obscure bands? Their patent so far only speaks of
real-time multisatellite, multipath integration and buffering.

Here's the final blow for mobile over fixed: why Muzak and inhouse
satradio won't attack them:

" Although certain existing satellite operators currently provide music
programming to customers at fixed locations, these operators are incapable of
providing CD Radio-type service to vehicles as a result of some or all of the
following reasons: (i) these operators do not broadcast on radio frequencies
suitable for reception in a mobile environment; (ii) CD Radio-type service
requires fully dedicated satellites; (iii) CD Radio type service requires a
custom satellite system design; and (iv) CD Radio-type service requires
regulatory approvals, which existing satellite operators do not have.""

searching for brunch,

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