WorldSpace signs Fraunhofer IIS to develop blueprint for European satellite radio receivers
Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007

WorldSpace Satellite Radio has signed a contract with Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS, part of Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, the worlds leading institution of application-oriented research, to develop a receiver reference design (or engineering blueprint) for the European market. The agreement brings WorldSpaces European subscribers one step closer to mobile satellite radio service, beginning with Italy.

The WorldSpace European receiver will be the first satellite-terrestrial hybrid receiver developed to comply with the satellite digital radio (SDR) standard, newly established by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). The standard enables the combination of terrestrial repeater networks and satellites, which will help to maintain excellent service quality for consumers in difficult reception environments. WorldSpace Europe contributed technological proposals to the SDR working group from the beginning of the ETSI process.

WorldSpaces European strategy is to roll out its service on a sequential, country-by-country basis. In addition to Italy, the Companys target markets include France, Germany, Spain, Turkey and Poland, representing a combined population of approximately 361 million people and 148 million automotives.

The reference design developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS will be the certified design of the core receiver technology, from which physical implementation of WorldSpaces European automotive and consumer products will be based. This announcement builds on the momentum of several previous agreements instrumental in the delivery of mobile satellite radio services in Europe.

In January 2007, WorldSpace signed an agreement with Telecom Italia to design and deploy a terrestrial repeater network throughout Italy. Previously, in May 2006, WorldSpace Italia received approval from the Italian Ministry of Communications to launch a subscription-based satellite radio service in Italy, utilizing 12.5 MHz of the L-band frequency spectrum, the only frequency band harmonized for satellite radio over Europe.

Today, the Company has two operational satellites that cover Europe, Africa and the Middle East, China, India and Southeast Asia. A third satellite, already built and in storage in Toulouse, France, is expected to provide the additional capacity needed to extend its service offering over Europe, by providing consumers with approximately 50 channels per country of diversified sports, talk and commercial-free music programming at the services maturity.

(Source: WorldSpace)