1worldspace


1worldspace

Infobox_Company
company_name = 1worldspace Inc.
company_
company_type = Public NASDAQ|WRSP
foundation = 1990
location = Silver Spring, Maryland, U.S.
key_people = Noah A. Samara, Chairman & CEO
num_employees = 492 (2005)
industry = Broadcasting - Radio
products = Satellite Radio
revenue = profit$13.78 Million USD (2007)
net_income = loss-$169.51 Million USD (2007)
homepage = [http://www.1worldspace.com www.1worldspace.com]

1worldspace (NASDAQ|WRSP) is a satellite radio network that provides service to over 170000 subscribers in eastern and southern Africa, the Middle East, and much of Asia with 96% coming from India [http://www.rwonline.com/pages/s.0100/t.15094.html] .

Overview

The company headquarters is located in Silver Spring, MD and additional studios are located in Washington, DC, Bangalore, Mumbai, New Delhi, and Nairobi. Currently, 1worldspace employs two satellites and broadcasts 62 channels - 38 of which are content provided by international, national and regional third parties and 24 1worldspace-branded stations produced by or for 1worldspace [http://www.1worldspace.com/corporate/] . Most of the channels are available only through a subscription plan.

1worldspace is the only company with rights to the world's globally allocated spectrum for digital satellite radio.Fact|date=August 2008 However, it currently has no plans to make use of its license to broadcast to the Americas or the Caribbean. The company gained attention around 2000 because of its willingness to invest in impoverished areas and from 2006 to the present due to its financial difficulties. The company was known as "WorldSpace" until July 2008.

Content

1worldspace has assembled a combination of news, sports, music, brand name content and educational programming which it delivers to its market in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. The 62 channels (38 of which are third-party content and 24 of which are produced by or for 1worldspace) represent popular international music formats including contemporary hits, country, classic rock and jazz [http://www.1worldspace.com/corporate/] with content specific to the local geographic region. Sports coverage includes content from Fox Sports and talkSPORT in addition to regional coverage. 1worldspace also broadcasts news from well-renowned sources such as BBC, CNBC, CNN, NPR,RFI, and WRN. [http://www.1worldspace.com/channel_guide/news/] Additional content includes channels that highlight poetry and literature, comedy, talk shows, and inspirational and religious programming. [http://www.1worldspace.com/channel_guide/talk_and_entertainment/] [http://www.1worldspace.com/channel_guide/inspirational/]

1worldspace's program directors and radio jockeys operate from studios in Washington, DC, Bangalore, and Nairobi, where 18 original music and lifestyle channels are created for distribution. Four of these stations are also available in the United States on the XM Satellite Radio network.Fact|date=August 2008

The 1worldspace System

The 1worldspace system comprises three major components: the space segment, the ground segment, and the user segment. The space segment refers to the company-owned satellites that broadcast the signals over a large percentage of the eastern hemisphere. The ground segment refers to the operating and broadcasting centers. The user segment refers to the user-owned devices in which the signal is received. In addition, the company plans to implement terrestrial repeater networks in order to facilitate access to new markets in Europe and the Middle-East.

The 1worldspace system was built with companies including Alcatel Space (now Thales Alenia Space), EADS Astrium and Arianespace (France), SED (Canada), GSI (USA), Fraunhofer Institute (Germany), ST Microelectronics (Italy), Micronas (Germany) and others. [http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1315054/000119312508071173/d10k.htm]

pace segment

The orbiting satellites, AfriStar 1 and AsiaStar, and the satellite in storage are Matra Marconi Eurostar 2000+ buses built by Alcatel Space and EADS Astrium, formerly known as Matra Marconi Space. Both are geostationary orbit satellites broadcasting programs in the L-Band frequency (1452-1492 MHz range). Each of the two satellites has three downlink spot beams, with each beam covering approximately 14 million square kilometers of the earth. The AfriStar 1 satellite, launched in October 1998, is located at the 21º East Longitude orbital location with beams covering all regions of Africa, the Mediterranean basin countries, the Middle East and parts of Europe. The AsiaStar satellite, launched in March 2000, is located at the 105º East Longitude orbital location with beams covering India, China, the southern part of Russia, and southeast Asia. Plans to launch a third satellite, AmeriStar (a.k.a. CaribStar), to serve South America, Latin America, and the Caribbean from 95.0° west longitude were not carried out as the L-band frequencies used by 1worldspace are commandeered by the United States Air Force. This satellite was reconfigured and is now known as AfriStar 2. [http://space.skyrocket.de/index_frame.htm?http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/worldstar.htm] AfriStar 2 was to be launched to 21.0° east longitude in August 2007. [http://www.lyngsat.com/launches/2007.html] This satellite, not yet launched as of the present, is intended to expand coverage for Western Europe in addition to the existing coverage of AfriStar 1, which it will eventually replace. 1worldspace will use ETSI Satellite Digital Radio (SDR) open standard in the new European coverage beam. [http://www.1worldspace.com/press/01_04_2006.html] It is currently in storage at EADS Astrium’s and Thales Alenia Space facilities in Toulouse, France and Stevenage, U.K. A fourth satellite of identical design, for which long lead parts have been procured and partially assembled, is also maintained in storage in Toulouse, France and can be integrated and tested for launch in an abbreviated period of time. [http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1315054/000119312508071173/d10k.htm]

Each satellite has a design life of twelve years, with an orbital maneuver life of 15 years, which means that each satellite has been designed and fueled to maintain its assigned orbital position (within 0.1 degrees) for 15 years. After that point, the satellite must be decommissioned. The AfriStar satellite has developed a defect in its solar panels. As a result of this defect, the energy collected by those panels is less than intended. Based upon the past few years, operational experience with this issue and consultations with Astrium, it is believed that the defect’s likely effect is limited to potential satellite power inadequacy during solar eclipses. In consultation with Astrium, the company has implemented operational procedures that would extend the useful life of the satellite through careful management of the power generated by the solar arrays. Such procedures, which are expected to be invoked only during the critical eclipse periods, may result in a temporary and relatively insignificant reduction of the power radiated by one or more of its beams with a resulting reduction of the broadcast coverage area.Fact|date=August 2008

Ground segment

The regional operations centers for the satellites are located in Silver Spring, Maryland for AfriStar and Melbourne, Australia for AsiaStar.Fact|date=August 2008 These centers manage the performance and status of the satellites by controlling them and monitoring their. The system architecture is identical for each region.

Telemetry, command and ranging (TCR) stations consist of an X-Band uplink command and control system and an L-Band telemetry monitoring system. A backup mode has also been provided using an S Band link from Bangalore, India. Each satellite has two TCR stations with sufficient geographic distance between them so that if natural disasters or any unforeseen events were to make one inoperable, a back-up station will be available. The TCR stations for AfriStar are located in Bangalore, India and Port Louis, Mauritius, and the ones for AsiaStar in Melbourne, Australia and Port Louis, Mauritius.

In addition to the TCR stations, a communications system monitoring station (CSM) is associated with each satellite to monitor continuously the quality of the downlink services. The CSM facilities are located in Libreville, Gabon for AfriStar and Melbourne, Australia for AsiaStar. [http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1315054/000119312508071173/d10k.htm]

User segment

Users must purchase a receiver compatible with the L-Band frequency in order to access the system. The radio receiver processes, decodes and descrambles the signals to allow users to receive programming content. The company’s broadcast frequency and satellites require a special receiver design incorporating either a small patch antenna measuring approximately 6 to 8 cm (2.4 to 3.2 inches) which folds neatly into the receiver unit or a similarly sized omni-directional antenna mounted on the car rooftop. Each receiver is individually addressable via a unique identifier that can be used to unlock specially coded audio or multimedia signals. This capability provides the flexibility to deliver free, subscription and/or premium services to consumers. The currently available receivers are manually coded for subscription authorization. A password, valid for varying periods of time depending upon the length of the subscription purchased and paid for, is provided to a subscriber and entered into the receiver. Currently passwords are re-validated on a quarterly basis. Upon subscription renewal, a new passcode is provided and similarly entered into the receiver. As new receiver products are introduced, there are plans to provide over-the-air activation of subscriptions. [http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1315054/000119312508071173/d10k.htm]

The radio sets, or receivers, which can pick up 1worldspace signals are manufactured by South Korea's AMI, India's BPL and China’s Tongshi, among other corporations. [http://www.worldspace.com/howitworks/receivers/receiverfaq/index.html] Discontinued models were manufactured by JVC, Sanyo, Hitachi, and Panasonic. The radios consist of a satellite receiver plus an antenna that has to be placed in clear view of the relevant satellite, and properly orientated to the user's geographic azimuth and elevation. A new receiver manufactured by Delphi using open standard ETSI Satellite Digital Radio technology will be used in Europe if and when the company enters the market. [http://investor.worldspace.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=189783&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1119610&highlight=]

Controversies

On August 4, 2005, WorldSpace offered its IPO on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange. It closed at the end of the first day of trading at $22.36 a share. Just four months after its IPO, WorldSpace was trading at $12.28; after seven months, $11.62; and after one year a share of WorldSpace was valued at $2.16. Four days after the IPO The Wall Street Journal published “WorldSpace Risk: Disputed Terror Ties Follow Key Backers.” [http://online.wsj.com/article/SB112346590451307232.html] The reference alludes to WorldSpace Corporation’s financial underwriters among the Saudi royal family, which reportedly had invested more than $2.5 billion in the start-up stages. The following day, August 9, online investment news site The Motley Fool ran the first of several articles ("Terrorist In Your Portfolio?") critical of WorldSpace’s corporate practices and out-of-this-world claims. In "A Stellar Way to Lose Money," after looking at the dismal performance after five years to establish an audience for AsiaStar broadcasting in India, the article concludes: “If you enjoy companies that pay management at a rate of 2.5 times your company's entire revenue, burn cash like crazy, but have a story that sounds good until you listen closely, this may be the stock for you. Knock yourself out. If you're looking for a good investment, look elsewhere.” [http://fool.com/news/mft/2005/mft05090914.htm] In 2007, Seth Jayson, writing for the Motley Fool, stated that WorldSpace was "one of the most rancid stocks I've ever seen". [http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2007/03/28/the-buzzards-at-worldspace.aspx]

1worldspace is currently in a financial crisis. In the first quarter of 2008 the company lost a net total of 2676 subscribers and reported that it would scale back its marketing activities around the world. [http://rapidtvnews.com/index.php/200805181172/worldspace-concerned-at-lack-of-cash.html] WorldSpace recorded a $36.0 million net loss in the second quarter of 2008, up from a net loss of $51.2 million in the second quarter of 2007. [http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/1worldspace-reports-second-quarter-2008/story.aspx?guid=%7BE9C8D9DE-19A5-4496-8673-19C4E38F34AD%7D&dist=hppr] Throughout the past year the company has been in deep debt and currently owes its creditors over $50 million, due to be payed in September. [http://rapidtvnews.com/index.php/200807281780/what-assets-does-worldspace-now-own.html]

In August 2008, two of the top executives of 1worldspace announced their resignations. Greg Armstrong, co-COO, left effective on August 1 and Alexander Brown, co-COO, has given notice of his intention to leave. [http://rapidtvnews.com/index.php/200808101867/two-worldspace-top-execs-bail-out.html]

Promotional information

WorldSpace audio advertisements in 2006 have highlighted the company's ability to provide communication and data-transmission services to remote areas of the world, particularly in a disaster-relief context. The promotions also mention WorldSpace's facilitation of long-distance educational projects in Africa.fact|date=August 2008 The ads, broadcast on Washington D.C. radio stations, appear aimed at government procurement officials and possibly NGOs.

WorldSpace named noted Indian composer A.R.Rahman as its brand ambassador in India where 90% of its customers are located, and unveiled an integrated marketing communication campaign across print and visual media featuring an exclusive signature tune composed by Mr. Rahman.fact|date=August 2008

In July 2008, WorldSpace changed its brand and corporate identity to 1worldspace. [http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/080722/20080722006384.html?.v=1]

Philanthropy

WorldSpace Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization created in 1997 with the aim of improving literacy in Africa, and is providing content through satellite to smaller community radio stations in the continent. [http://www.mediarights.org/organization/worldspace_foundation] WorldSpace Foundation has changed its name to First Voice International.

First Voice International is a non-profit organization that tries to ensure that people living in poverty and remote places get the information they need to improve their lives, have the means to communicate their needs and wants, are able to share what they know with others - in their own voice. The organization attempts to reach the most people for the least cost by combining satellite and other technologies. By bypassing the isolating effects of illiteracy and remoteness, the organization routinely delivers information to people in areas lacking electricity, telephone or Internet service. [ http://www.firstvoiceint.org/]

Plans

Since uninterrupted line of sight reception may be difficult in the urban areas, there is a need to install terrestrial repeating transmitters to rebroadcast the satellite signals in the largest metropolitan areas of intended mobile DARS markets. The company has been licensed to build networks of terrestrial repeaters in Italy, Switzerland and Germany. With this addition, the system can provide more reliable broadcast services to receivers in automobiles. [http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1315054/000119312508071173/d10k.htm] 1worldspace plans to start providing mobile radio and data services in Italy using a combination of satellite and terrestrial broadcasts in late 2009. [http://www.worldspace-europe.com/en/overview.php] It has signed an agreement with Fiat, an Italian automobile manufacturer, to make radios capable of receiving the signals available to car owners. [http://www.fiatgroupautomobilespress.com/index.php?method=news&action=zoom&id=2007071820361698504c8759ec19c8fe9e69c70f481586&id_subsection=] Fiat plans to make such radios available as a bookable option made prior to purchasing a car. [http://www.forbes.com/markets/feeds/afx/2007/07/19/afx3929656.html] If the service is a success in Italy, it's planned to make similar services available in Germany and Switzerland. 1worldspace will use ETSI Satellite Digital Radio (SDR) open standard in the new European coverage beam. [http://www.1worldspace.com/press/01_04_2006.html] The receivers for the new markets will be manufactured by Delphi and will deliver a gap-free coverage to vehicles similar to that of Sirius XM Radio vehicular mobile service.

References

External links

* [http://www.1worldspace.com/ 1worldspace Inc]
* [http://www.firstvoiceint.org/ First Voice International (formerly WorldSpace Foundation)]
* [http://www.marketwatch.com/tools/quotes/financials.asp?symb=WRSP&sid=2076202&report=1&freq=1 Annual Financials for Worldspace Inc]


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