Europe News: Italy to get commercial satellite radio

Europe News:  Italy to get commercial satellite radio

Telecom Italia will design and deploy a terrestrial repeater network throughout Italy for WorldSpace Italia to facilitate the start of commercial satellite radio in Italy.

Terrestrial repeaters (gap fillers) enable WorldSpace Italia to re-transmit its satellite radio broadcasts to consumers who do not have a direct line of sight to WorldSpace's satellite.

These repeater towers are most commonly used in urban areas where the satellite signal may be blocked by large buildings or other obstacles.

WorldSpace Italia intends to deploy its repeaters in the major Italian urban areas, while the rural areas of Italy will be serviced directly by the satellite signal.

In May 2006, WorldSpace Italia received approval from the Italian Ministry of Communications to launch a subscription-based satellite radio service in Italy, using 12.5 MHz of the L-band frequency spectrum, the only frequency band harmonised for satellite radio over Europe.

WorldSpace has two operational satellites that cover nearly two-thirds of the world's population. Its AfriStar™ satellite covers Europe, Africa and the Middle East. A third satellite, already built and in storage in Toulouse, France, is expected to provide additional capacity over Europe,

WorldSpace's strategy is to roll out a European service on a sequential, country-by-country basis, beginning with Italy.

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