Satellite Radio: The Waves Of The Future?

By: John Pawlett

Satellite Radio Its here! Satellite radio is a new service being offered by two companies, XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio. Both companies are offering over 100 channels of streaming music and entertainment. High quality sound is achieved through the use of satellites orbiting high above. Satellite radio is commercial free and free from regulations by federal committees. The impossible, is now possible, hearing the same radio station across North America and from coast to coast. All made possible by XM satellite radio and Sirius satellite radio.

Normal radio has been around for decades and is part of many people's lifestyle. This is changing. Regular radio is monitored and regulated by the Federal Communications Commission, whom has fined several radio stations and media companies within the last 3-4 years. The FCC has only fined radio stations a maximum of $27,500 per show no matter how man profanities were aired. Recently the FCC has been upping the ante and in conjunction with Congress has decided to raise the fine up to $500,000 per incident per station (Potter). A slap on the wrist has turned into a business-changing event. Sexually explicit comments by Bubba the Love Sponge and Howard Stern could get a station in trouble no doubt about it.

Clear Channel Radio dropped both shock jocks this year after being hit with record fines. (Potter) Recently Howard Stern has made a move to Sirius Satellite wireless in an effort to preserve his career and free speech. Consumers are reaching towards satellite radio as a way to hear unregulated news and content. Recently XM Satellite wireless has claimed to have over 3 million subscribers paying $9.99 per month and Sirius claims to have over 1.3 million customers paying $12.95 per month. Many of those customers pay an additional $2.99 per month for premium content such as the upcoming Howard Stern Show.

Several normal wireless stations and media outlets are realizing the potential to get their message across in a broad fashion. XM has launched a morning show, which is hosted by Bob Edwards, whom was fired earlier this year by National Public Radio. "The Bob Edwards Show" will air on a public satellite wireless channel that also features news and programs from Public wireless International, among others. Sirius has its own public wireless channel carrying NPR programs. Consumers and companies are demanding free speech and it seems that satellite wireless is the vehicle.

XM Satellite wireless and Sirius Satellite wireless have designed satellite broadcast systems that differ but they achieve the same high quality of satellite wireless. A milestone of this success is the fact that satellite wireless signals that are available across the United States and into Mexico and Canada. Rock and Roll No it's not a genre any more! XM Satellite wireless has two satellites named Rock and Roll, which remain in parallel geostationary orbit to provide wireless coverage throughout the United States. Sirius Satellite wireless has chose to use three satellites in an inclined elliptical orbit. This configuration provides 16 hours per satellite of signal, which gives a great redundancy if any satellite were to fail. Playing it smart, Sirius and XM both have spare satellites, which can be called on in a moments notice if needed.

XM satellite wireless and Sirius satellite wireless have Earth based broadcast stations that are used to send up information to the satellites, which is then dispersed through out the globe. Sirius and XM both have disk jockeys that manage, create and program music which is then sent up to the satellites. The information is then taken in by the satellites and sent through a rebroadcast of the streams to earth.

The Major advantage of this is that, unlike earth-based wireless stations whose signals reach listeners 150 miles away, satellite wireless signals have a huge reach, and are receivable anywhere within the continental United States and hundreds of miles in each direction of the borders. Satellite wireless is growing to become a worldwide network and offerings are growing throughout the world. XM satellite radio and Sirius satellite radio are making it happen.

Unregulated Satellite Radio is the answer for free speech in a government regulated airwaves arena. Not only can listeners hear unbiased information but also they can listen to it anywhere in the United States. Media giants are jumping to get the piece of the pie regarding satellite radio, as the new wave of the future is satellite radio.

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