This excerpt taken from the SIRI 8-K filed Mar 21, 2007.
XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc.
XM, a publicly traded Delaware corporation, is an established provider of audio entertainment. In April 1997, XM was one of the winning bidders in the Commissions auction of 25 MHz of spectrum in the S-band allocated to satellite radio, in which XM committed and paid nearly $90 million to the U.S. Treasury.9 The Commission awarded XM the license to provide satellite radio services in the 2332.5 -2345 MHz band.10 XMs wholly owned subsidiary XM Radio Inc., a Delaware corporation, now holds XMs satellite radio licenses (including related terrestrial repeater special temporary authorizations) as well as satellite, earth station, and experimental licenses issued by the Commission.
8 Sirius also has a fourth spare satellite in ground storage that can be deployed in the event of a satellite failure.
9 Satellite Radio Auction Public Notice, 12 FCC Rcd at 18,717.
10 See Am. Mobile Radio Corp., Application for Authority to Construct, Launch, and Operate Two Satellites in the Satellite Digital Audio Radio Service, Order and Authorization, 13 FCC Rcd 8829, 8850 (¶ 51) (1997) (XM Authorization Order).
XM initiated commercial operations in September 2001; as of December 31, 2006, it provided service to approximately 7.6 million subscribers. XM currently offers 170 channels of high-quality audio entertainment throughout the United States, including music channels devoted to a wide variety of genres, such as rock, country, jazz, gospel, classical, soul, hip-hop, bluegrass, folk, and reggae; sports programming that includes live, play-by-play broadcasts of Major League Baseball and National Hockey League games, as well as college games; childrens channels; a variety of talk formats; news and religious programming; and 21 channels that transmit traffic, weather, and emergency (including Amber) alert information for many of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas. In addition, XM broadcasts emergency alerts, safety information, and Amber alerts on a 24-hour/7-days-a-week basis on a free-to-air channel (for which no subscription is required); it also participates in the national Emergency Alert System, providing Presidential Level alerts and certain state and local alerts; airs a Red Cross Radio channel when the country experiences disasters such as Hurricane Katrina; and provides real-time traffic and weather data to cars, planes, and boats equipped with XM receivers.11 All of this content is up-linked from XMs facilitiesprimarily its headquarters in Washington, D.C.to its satellites and then transmitted to its subscribers. XM also provides content to subscribers using streaming audio over the Internet, as well as to certain DIRECTV subscribers, Alltel and AT&T wireless subscribers, and AOL radio members.
XM has invested over five billion dollars to date, primarily to (1) develop and upgrade its network; (2) design chipsets and radios capable of receiving its service; (3) subsidize the cost of such chipsets and radios to encourage their distribution; (4) develop subscriber-based
management systems and other information technology; (5) market its brand; and (6) create compelling programming for subscribers. It currently operates four geostationary satellites that cover the forty-eight contiguous states and parts of Alaska, which broadcast from two orbital locations (85°W.L. and 115°W.L.). XM has also constructed terrestrial repeaters in markets where its signal may be blocked, such as by tall buildings and tunnels.12 In addition, XM has deployed redundant uplink and control facilities, capable of encryption, and has made available small, inexpensive, lightweight radios to consumers.