The satellite radio world is divided among the two major broadcasters, XM Radio and Sirius. Since they work on different frequencies and need specific equipment to broadcast, Sirius and XM Radio have divided the market into two groups. While some are fans of the Sirius channels others prefer XM Radio, and the debate regarding which of the two is the best could go on forever. Some however are subscribers to both services, since they love some of the Sirius programs but also enjoy XM Radio broadcasting. For them and for more people interested in satellite radio, there are some potential good news. Interoperable satellite radios are one of the things most of the major players in the satellite radio industry are talking about. What are they? Basically they are receivers that can work both with Sirius and XM Radio and everything is enclosed in a single unit.
Interoperable Technologies – when Sirius and XM work together
Interoperable Technologies is the name of a joint effort funded by both Sirius and XM Radio, with the declared purpose of bringing dual-subscription satellite radios to the general market. Founded in 2003, Interoperable Technologies has started developing the dual-mode satellite radios ever since and progress is being made with each passing month. Interoperable Technologies gets help from consultants from both XM and Sirius and their 2005 success of developing a singe unit that can receive both transmissions was a notable one. Today, Interoperable Technologies ha a deadline of bringing the developed receiver unit to the market. The monthly subscription price is estimated to be around $26 – for which you get over 300 channels from the combined broadcasting list of the two satellite radio operators.
What the people say…
The news of the interoperable satellite radio development has triggered interesting responses among XM and Sirius satellite radio subscribers. Here are some of the things people left on forums and discussion boards regarding this development:
“$26/month? A hell of a lot cheaper than cable TV.” Says one of the forum posters. He is right, but, of course, many will question the need to pay $26 for over 300 radio channels out of which 80% will probably never get listened to.
“Oh man! As a dual subscriber, this would be SO cool to have. Where do I sign up?” – on the other hand, of course, there are those people that don’t mind spending a little extra when they can get so much more.
“Cool idea if it ever comes to pass. Even though I only subscribe to Sirius, I would consider buying this with an eye on the future…” – for people such as this forum poster, the interoperable satellite radio system is the natural evolutionary step forward, so it is definitely worth looking into.
Implications of the interoperable satellite radio system
As you can see from the response of the potential customers, the interoperable satellite radio system is an interesting development. While Sirius and XM are lucky enough to be the only major players in this field, for now, it seems they are also ready to work together in order to consolidate their future. Of course, offering twice the programs on a single unit is a major step forward, and from the early stages it seems that the target audience is ready to receive the single receiver unit with applause. On the other hand, is this an initial enthusiastic response or is it genuine interest? Won’t 300+ channels become too much and won’t people start to feel like they are paying for something they are rarely using? There will also be some interesting things to follow as far as exclusivity rights go, because each of the two broadcasters have their own original approaches to common things. Another interesting aspect to follow will be how the sales for individual Sirius and XM units will go after the dual receiver hits the market. For many, the combined efforts of Sirius and XM tend to look like a first step towards a large scale joint venture that will lead to an absolute monopoly of the satellite radio market.
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