21 marzo 2008

Worldspace sbarca in Svizzera, OK per i "gap filler"

Ho appena intercettato questo lancio di agenzia riguardante Worldspace. L'operatore di radiofonia satellitare digitale annuncia di aver ottenuto dal regolatore elvetico, UFCOM, l'autorizzazione al dispiegamento di una rete di ripetitori terrestri (gap filler) dei suoi segnali dal satellite. La rete opera, a terra come dallo spazio, sulla porzione alta della banda L, tra i 1479,5 e i 1492 MHz. Worldspace a partire da inizio 2009 si appresta a lanciare i suoi servizi in Italia e ora anche in Svizzera, mentre Bahrain e Emirati Arabi ha già dato i rispettivi permessi per l'offerta di analoghi servizi ibridi satellitari/terrestri.
Questa della Svizzera è una relativa novità. E' un mercato piccolo ma molto attrattivo, dichiara Worldspace, a causa della forte presenza di early adopter tra i consumatori e la ricchezza media dei suoi abitanti. Successivamente Worldspace intende attaccare UK, Francia e Germania.

WORLDSPACE Satellite Radio Receives Terrestrial Repeater Network Approval from Switzerland

2008-03-20 23:43:06

WORLDSPACE Satellite Radio (NASDAQ:WRSP), one of the world leaders in satellite-based digital radio services, today announced it has received approval from Switzerland's Office Federal de la Communication (OFCOM) to operate terrestrial repeaters that will work in conjunction with its existing satellite network to provide Swiss consumers with a subscription-based satellite radio service.
WORLDSPACE Satellite Radio will use the 12.5 MHz of L-band frequency (1479.5 to 1492 MHz) harmonized for satellite radio in Europe and for which WORLDSPACE has priority rights throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The Company plans to offer a mobile service as early as 2009 on the continent, beginning with Italy; and in Bahrain and United Arab Emirates (UAE) - places where WORLDSPACE has already received authorization to launch its satellite/terrestrial hybrid radio service.
The Company's European strategy is to roll out its service on a sequential country-by-country basis, beginning with Italy, where aftermarket radios are expected to be available to consumers in early 2009 and OEM (factory installed) radios in several Fiat models by late 2009. In addition to Italy and now Switzerland, the Company expects to secure four more licenses in 2008, from the other major European markets.
"We are very pleased at the efficiency with which the OFCOM has granted us this approval," said Noah A. Samara, Chairman and CEO of WORLDSPACE Satellite Radio. "As we begin planning the content line-up for our Italian launch and subsequent European markets we hope to secure shortly, including the UK, Germany, Spain and France, we hope to be able to parlay our unique variety of news, sports, music and entertainment programming into a line-up that is equally attractive to Switzerland's diverse cultures."
Although not large, the Swiss market is attractive for satellite radio, given the demographics that fit its early adopter profile. For example, it has a population that exceeds 7.5 million, with a per capita GDP of approximately 39,800 USD - a figure that is larger than that of each of the 'big five' European countries targeted for service by WORLDSPACE. The three main ethnicities and official languages of Switzerland are: German (65%), French (20%) and Italian (10%). It is home to the international banking community, various United Nations departments and multiple international business conglomerations and thus home to a large expatriate population. There are approximately four million automobiles in the country with new car sales expected to rise to about 320,000 in 2010.
WORLDSPACE continues to execute against its business plan for Europe, with numerous milestones achieved over the past year. The Company recently selected Delphi to design the first WORLDSPACE satellite radio mobile receivers (aftermarket and OEM) for Europe; Fiat Group Automobiles has signed on as the first manufacturer to install and distribute WORLDSPACE satellite radios in Italy; Fraunhofer IIS is developing the receiver reference design for the radios; and Certicom's conditional access system has been selected for security of the Company's broadcast services. WORLDSPACE also participated in the development of the standard for satellite digital radio (SDR) adopted by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) in December 2006. This standard is at the core of WORLDSPACE's technology and permits the most efficient use of the allocated spectrum, maximizing digital capacity while maintaining excellent service quality, even in difficult reception environments such as urban centers.

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