Is Satellite Radio in France's Future?

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The assets of WorldSpace France, which include L-band spectrum slated for satellite radio with terrestrial repeaters, have been picked up by a French firm proposing to go forward with the service, reports Julian Clover in an Aug. 4, 2010 update in Broadband TV News.

Unlike its parent company, WorldSpace France has been under liquidation in a French bankruptcy court and was among some of the scattered global holdings of WorldSpace when it declared Chapter 11 in a U.S. court a couple of years ago.

Clover notes that Onde Numerique, a startup founded by former WorldSpace executive Franz Catarno, intends to use the spectrum to launch a 50-channel subscription satellite radio service using an orbital slot now held by the French government at 21 degrees east. Catarno says his company hopes to launch the service sometime near the end of 2011.

WorldSpace's U.S.-held assets, including two orbiting satellites, are among the assets acquired in U.S. Chapter 11 liquidation by former WorldSpace CEO Noah Samarra's company, Yazmi USA. That deal is still subject to review by a U.S. bankruptcy judge.

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