How Satellite Radio Works


1worldspace will be able to broadcast to the majority of the world's population when its AmeriStar satellite is launched.
1worldspace will be able to broadcast to the majority of the world's population when its AmeriStar satellite is launched.

So far, 1worldspace has been the farthest-reaching company in the satellite radio industry. It put two of its three satellites, AfriStar and AsiaStar, in geostationary orbit before either of the other two companies launched one. AfriStar and AsiaStar were launched in October 1998 and March 2000, respectively. AmeriStar, which will offer service to South America and parts of Mexico, has not yet been launched. Each satellite transmits three signal beams, carrying more than 60 channels of programming, to three overlapping coverage areas of about 5.4 million square miles (14 million square kilometers) each. Each of the 1worldspace satellites' three beams can deliver more than 50 channels of crystal-clear audio and multimedia programming via the 1,467- to 1,492-megahertz (MHz) segment of the L-Band spectrum, which is allocated for digital audio broadcasting.

The United States is not currently part of 1worldspace's coverage area, although the company has invested in Sirius XM Radio and has an agreement with the company to share any technological developments. 1worldspace is going beyond one nation and eyeing world domination of the radio market. That might be overstating the company's intent a bit, but 1worldspace does plan to reach the corners of our world that most radio stations can't. There are millions of people living in 1worldspace's projected listening area who can't pick up a signal from a conventional radio station. 1worldspace says it has a potential audience of about 4.6 billion listeners spanning five continents.

1worldspace broadcasters uplink their signal to one of the two operational satellites through a centralized hub site or an individual feeder link station located within the global uplink beam. The satellite then transmits the signal in one, two or all three beams on each satellite. Receivers on the ground then pick up the signal and provide CD-quality sound through a detachable antenna.

1worldspace satellite receivers are capable of receiving data at a rate of 128 kilobits per second (Kbps). The receivers use the proprietary StarMan chipset, manufactured by STMicroelectronics, to receive digital signals from the satellites.

For more information on satellite radio and related topics, check out the links below.

Related Articles

More Great Links


  • XM Radio. (Oct. 10, 2008)
  • Sirius Satellite Radio. (Oct. 10, 2008)
  • 1worldspace. (Oct. 10, 2008)