The latter company is planning services for Europe and the Middle East with 40 to 50 channels of commercial-free programming, beginning next year in Italy. Traffic, navigation and music downloads from the satellite are also part of its plan. After Italy, WorldSpace aims to roll out in Germany and Switzerland. Separate efforts are under way in Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. It has a deal with Fiat for aftermarket and OEM receivers in some of its upcoming models.
Noah Samara is chairman/CEO of WorldSpace Satellite Radio. He made the announcement with Domenico Rossi, vice president of ST’s Automotive Product Group.
The companies said the agreement is expected to lead to the first fully integrated device for channel decoding in ESDR receivers. The technology is based on the European Telecommunications Standards Institute ESDR standard.
Rossi said the majority of satellite digital radios in the United States now use ST chips.
“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,” the companies stated.
WorldSpace sees a potential market in its European target countries of 420 million people and 180 million vehicles. The company has been straining to meet its debt obligations and recently announced an extension in terms from creditors.