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XM Gets Power Boost

XM Gets Power Boost

The FCC has granted XM Satellite Radio a power increase for its satellites. The FCC stated in the order that XM’s requested modifications will provide the public with an improved satellite DARS system that offers more capacity within the existing spectrum allocation.
XM had asked to modify its system in three respects: (1) to increase the maximum Equivalent Isotropically Radiated Power of its satellites from 62 dBW to 68.5 dBW; (2) to increase the number of downlink channels from five to six, including four carrier frequencies (two per satellite) of 1.84 MHz each and two frequencies for terrestrial repeaters of 2.53 MHz each; and (3) to increase the transmission rate of each of its satellite carriers to 3.28 Mbits/s.
The satellite EIRP is 62 dBW in XM’s current authorization. XM applied for a 6.5 dB EIRP increase to 68.5 dBW. This increase in radiated power will provide a stronger signal to the receivers on the earth’s surface, which will improve reception and increase service availability, stated the commission.
A stronger satellite signal may reduce the number of terrestrial repeaters needed and this would reduce XM’s costs.
The new channelization plan and the increase in the transmission rate will provide more information in the authorized bandwidth than that available in the current authorization.
The data rate increase may be used to provide additional programming channels and/or provide existing channels with a higher level of audio quality.
The order becomes effective in 30 days.