TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Iridium II: Is Satellite Radio Doomed?

Re: Iridium II: Is Satellite Radio Doomed?

Isaiah Beard (
Sat, 19 Mar 2005 14:20:36 -0500

John Levine wrote:

> I suppose that in theory GM could try to invent their own proprietary
> sat rad network (don't they still own Hughes satellite?) but I don't
> see them heading down that rat hole.

Actually, they don't HAVE to. GM owns a significant stake in XM, and I
beleive they have one or two people on their board.

And the current status quo is doing quite well. With GM, Honda and a
few other car manufacturers, a satellite radio option exists for a
number of models as an option package. If someone wants it, they can
add the option in, and not only do they get a radio, but the first
year of service is built in to the purchase price of the car (exactly
the same model as OnStar). Once the subscriber is "hooked," they're
likely (as has proven true in previous SEC filings) to pay for the
service once the first year is up.

Not everyone opts for this though. Personally, I think GM needs to
reduce the size and improve the appearance of their satellite radio
antenna. It currently looks like a big ugly black wart on the roof of
the car, regardless of the car's paint color, and usually the
placement isn't even centered, so anyone who is interested in
preserving the lines and look of the vehicle will have issue with it.
On the other hand, the aftermarket satellite radio systems have a tiny
magnet mount antenna no larger than a postage stamp, and you can get
creative as to where you place it. I opted for aftermarket, placed
the antenna on the trunk lid where it's not too distracting, and got
the added bonus of having a removable unit that can be taken and used
indoors as well.

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