Actually there's more news on that front.
I inquired of this to SIRI Investor Relations and, to my surprise, got a phone call from a real person who appeared quite well informed.
Here's what I was told:
- Yes the Reflector deployed as planned
- Loral is testing the satellite and these tests will continue until early August or so.
- After Loral's tests, the satellite will be turned over to Sirius. Sirius' own Engineering group will conduct tests on the bird at that time.
- It is estimated that the FM-5 satellite will be fully activated for broadcasts in late August or early to mid September.
I can't wait to check my SRI-reception until then, this is going to be very interesting to see how well this will work :)
Originally Posted by mescpa53
Excellent, i love the anticipation.
Originally Posted by mescpa53
I'm a sirius customer in Puerto Rico, thats on the eastern caribbean. I've used the service for a couple of years locally and I'm observing a dramatic signal strength and quality of reception after August 24, 2009.
Ever before to this date the service here in Puerto Rico has been very fringe. Until now any customer could actually activate radios in PR (a US territory) under the premise that the service could not be guaranteed because of being outside the contiguous US, and the absence of local terrestrial repeaters.
I can report after using the service on my daily road routines for the past two days that it barely skips reception (as it used to do somewhat frequent before, usually at specific times); and the satellite signal strenght bars that used to be below half strenght, have increased almost to full signal stat.
As a customer, I may conclude that the FM-5 started in operation on August 24 2009.
Sounds like the new contraption works! Glad you can get almost normal reception. Skipping reception can drive you crazy. Good to hear from you down there in the Caribbean. I need to get down there, I hear it is quite nice.
Originally Posted by elTiTANio
Something's definitely changed. My Stiletto2 reception meters show satellite signal midday when in the past there was none.
Wierd. For such a powerful bird, I expected my Stiletto2 to show 100% sat signal strength from Sirius FM-5. Not so. Only about 2/3 of full strength.
The XM Meters are pegged out at 100% sat signal strength here in my office.
I guess it's possible that the SIRI Engineers are doing some production testing at partial strength. (I don't know why that would be.)
Also, after investing about $250 million for a new satellite, don't you think the company might beat on their chest with at least a Press Release when the new asset becomes fully operational?
Very strange indeed.
Improved Signal for Me
I was searching the Internet tonight because I had a suspicion that FM5 was online. Sometime last week, my signal become strong and consistently strong throughout the day.
The signal strength of my home radio, with an antenna in a windowsill facing palm trees, has always been marginal. In fact, mid-August, something went wrong with a local terrestrial repeater and I had to start using the Sirius Internet service instead of using the satellite-based service. I leave my radio in "antenna aiming" mode all the time and I noticed an excellent signal sometime last week. It's been rock solid ever since. I record content every morning on my Stiletto and so far the playback has been perfect. (In the past, I would notice some drop outs during the recording)
I think the best part of FM5 is the fact that it is geostationary. If you can pick up the signal, you can always pick up the signal. I've been missing this since leaving XM several years ago.
I am not experiencing any improvement in the Washington, DC area.
Sirius reception is terrible here with many dropouts. XM is much better- - - probably due to a large number of repeaters.
Can someone explain or provide a link to an explanation of how FM-5 fits into the Sirius RF system. It would seem to me that the previous satellites would need to be cut back to only one active at a time in order to use FM-5. That doesn't sound like much of an improvement. There must be a better answer but I have yet to hear it.
New satellite increases broadcast power and delivers improved reception to SIRIUS subscribers
NEW YORK, Sept. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- SIRIUS XM Radio (NASDAQ: SIRI) announced today that SIRIUS FM-5, the newest addition to the SIRIUS XM satellite fleet, was recently placed into service on the SIRIUS network. The new satellite, which was manufactured by Space Systems/Loral, provides improved signal penetration and reception to millions of SIRIUS subscribers nationwide.
(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/...19/NYTU044LOGO )
FM-5 is now fully operational and broadcasting SIRIUS XM programming and data services to SIRIUS radios in North America. The satellite launched June 30, was guided to its final orbit position, and has successfully completed all post-launch testing.
SIRIUS FM-5 is one of the world's most powerful communications satellites and is the first geostationary SIRIUS satellite, complementing the SIRIUS fleet of three non-geostationary satellites. SIRIUS FM-5's addition to the current SIRIUS fleet significantly increases the broadcast power of the total SIRIUS network. SIRIUS FM-5 is designed to provide more focused power in areas of peak population, such as metropolitan areas on the east and west coast, as well as significantly improving reception when driving under heavy foliage. Its location in a geostationary orbit position over North America (approximately above Texas, at 96 degrees west longitude) assures that home receivers can aim at a fixed point in the southern sky to receive a signal on a constant basis.
"For our SIRIUS subscribers, FM-5 brings significantly improved performance to their cars as well as their homes and offices, or wherever they use their SIRIUS radios," said Terry Smith, Chief Engineering Officer of SIRIUS XM Radio. "We expect FM-5 to provide exceptional service for many years to come, while improving the overall performance, reliability and longevity of our satellite fleet. We congratulate our engineering team on a successful launch and implementation."
The satellite was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan aboard an International Launch Services (ILS) Proton.
About SIRIUS XM Radio
SIRIUS XM Radio is America's satellite radio company delivering to subscribers commercial-free music channels, premier sports, news, talk, entertainment, and traffic and weather.
SIRIUS XM Radio has content relationships with an array of personalities and artists, including Howard Stern, Martha Stewart, Oprah Winfrey, Jimmy Buffett, Jamie Foxx, Barbara Walters, Opie & Anthony, Bubba the Love Sponge®, The Grateful Dead, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and Bob Edwards. SIRIUS XM Radio is the leader in sports programming as the Official Satellite Radio Partner of the NFL, Major League Baseball®, NASCAR®, NBA, NHL®, and PGA TOUR®, and broadcasts major college sports.
SIRIUS XM Radio has arrangements with every major automaker. SIRIUS XM Radio products are available at shop.sirius.com and shop.xmradio.com, and at retail locations nationwide, including Best Buy, RadioShack, Wal-Mart and independent retailers.
SIRIUS XM Radio also offers SIRIUS Backseat TV, the first ever live in-vehicle rear seat entertainment featuring Nickelodeon, Disney Channel and Cartoon Network; XM NavTraffic® service for GPS navigation systems delivers real-time traffic information, including accidents and road construction, for more than 80 North American markets.
This communication contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements about the benefits of the business combination transaction involving SIRIUS and XM, including potential synergies and cost savings and the timing thereof, future financial and operating results, the combined company's plans, objectives, expectations and intentions with respect to future operations, products and services; and other statements identified by words such as "will likely result," " are expected to," "anticipate," "believe," "plan," "estimate," "intend," "will," "should," "may," or words of similar meaning. Such forward-looking statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of SIRIUS' and XM's management and are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies, many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond the control of SIRIUS and XM. Actual results may differ materially from the results anticipated in these forward-looking statements.
The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from the anticipated results or other expectations expressed in the forward-looking statement: our substantial indebtedness; the businesses of SIRIUS and XM may not be combined successfully, or such combination may take longer, be more difficult, time-consuming or costly to accomplish than expected; the useful life of our satellites; our dependence upon automakers and other third parties; our competitive position versus other forms of audio and video entertainment; and general economic conditions. Additional factors that could cause SIRIUS' and XM's results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in SIRIUS' Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008 and XM's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008, which are filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") and available at the SEC's Internet site (http://www.sec.gov). The information set forth herein speaks only as of the date hereof, and SIRIUS and XM disclaim any intention or obligation to update any forward looking statements as a result of developments occurring after the date of this communication.
Contacts for SIRIUS XM Radio:
SIRIUS XM Radio
212 901 6646
SIRIUS XM Radio
646 313 2405
SOURCE SIRIUS XM Radio
SOURCE: SIRIUS XM Radio
Web site: http://shop.sirius.com/
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They still haven't told us how the whole system works now. What's the big secret? I have asked at several places and all I get is speculation. What's worse is that even the most optimistic speculation doesn't suggest any plan that would be a significant improvement.
Also I just spent 5 hours in my car with both Sirius & XM radios. I can't report any improvement in the Sirius dropouts. The Sirius reception is still much worse than XM here.