National, November 18, 1998 -- XM Satellite Radio Inc. today announced agreements with leading radio manufacturers, bringing satellite radio a giant step closer to American consumers and paving the way for the first innovation in radio since the introduction of FM 40 years ago. Hugh Panero, President and CEO of XM, announced that the company has signed agreements with Alpine Electronics, Inc., Pioneer Electronic Corporation, and the Sharp Corporation to manufacture and distribute XM-capable radios and audio systems for the U.S. market. This equipment will enable consumers to receive XM's coast-to-coast, multi-channel, satellite-delivered digital radio service. In addition, STMicroelectronics, the world's leading supplier of solid-state devices to car radio manufacturers, will design, build and market computer chips to process the digital signal for these new XM radios.
"Tuning in XM Satellite Radio became very real today," said Mr. Panero. "These are the first announced U.S. manufacturing agreements for satellite radio, and I am very proud of XM's partnerships with the world's leading radio and audio-system manufacturers and leading car computer chip maker. First, there was AM, then FM and, with the help of these great companies, we will offer XM in the year 2000 and together revolutionize radio."
Under these agreements, Alpine and Pioneer, which together represent more than one-third of 1997 total car radio after-market sales, will design, build and distribute XM radios for the automobile market. Sharp, one of the world's leading makers of MD-related products and one of world's premier home audio manufacturers will provide XM audio systems for the home market. These radios and audio systems will be able to receive AM, FM and XM broadcasts, and possess other features such as CD players.
"These are our most significant announcements to date," commented Mr. Panero, who has made a series of major announcements since taking the company's leadership reins in June 1998.
Alpine Electronics Joins XM Team
"Alpine's alliance with XM Satellite Radio to develop products that incorporate satellite digital audio radio service (SDARS) technology represents a strategic addition to our corporate mobile media research and development activities," said Akira Kurihara, Managing Director of Research and Development. "Alpine has long been a leader in bringing digital products to the mobile environment, and we believe our partnership with XM will be a great complement to our past experience with CD, mini-disk (MD) and DVD players as well as digital-audio broadcasting technologies (DAB). We firmly expect satellite digital radio to be the leading music and data broadcasting technology of the next century and look forward to offering car owners the benefits of this exciting new technology."
Pioneer Electronic Corporation Joins XM Team
"It is our great pleasure to announce that XM Satellite Radio Inc. and Pioneer Electronic Corp. recently reached a license agreement to produce Pioneer 'XM Satellite Radio' receivers," said Yoshimichi Inada, President, Mobile Entertainment Company, Pioneer Electronic Corporation. "We are excited to work with XM's leading digital broadcasting technologies and hope to see the revolution XM will bring in the way people listen to music. We believe the addition of XM Satellite Radio to our product lineup will further enhance the satisfaction of our customers."
The Sharp Corporation Joins XM Team
"Sharp is very pleased about working with XM to create the future of radio. This project is a fundamental part of our mission to remain at the cutting edge of home electronics and audio systems," said Taizoh Sasada, Sharp's Division General Manager of Audio Systems Division, AV Systems Group. "Using the Sharp-branded radio, XM's audience will be amazed at the rich sound and diverse programming available for the first time on radio."
STMicroelectronics Joins XM Team
"We are very pleased to be XM Satellite Radio's first choice for this project," commented STMicroelectronics' Corporate Vice President, Aldo Romano. "It allows us to apply to an exciting new market the successful experience we gained developing a digital satellite receiver chip set for WorldSpace plus our advanced technology know-how in both 0.25 micron CMOS and integrated radio frequency circuits."
Alpine Electronics, established in 1967, is one of the world's leading car electronics companies. In addition to its highly successful car audio business, Alpine is the only manufacturer specializing in mobile multimedia, an integrated system approach incorporating audio, visual, security and navigation products for the mobile environment. With research and development facilities in Asia, Europe, and the U.S., Alpine is the global leader for in-vehicle navigation systems in Japan, North America, and Europe for the after-market and for OEM installations. Further information is available at Alpine's home page, www.alpine.co.jp
Pioneer Electronic Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a world leader in supplying audio and visual products for home, car and industrial use to global customers. Recognized around the world for its leadership, especially in optical technology, Pioneer employs more than 19,000 people in over 25 countries and has more than 75 subsidiaries, including 20 manufacturing companies worldwide. Further information is available at Pioneer's home page, www.pioneer.co.jp
Sharp Corporation is a worldwide developer of the core digital technologies that are playing an integral role in the emerging era of multimedia. As a leader in liquid crystal displays (LCDs), optoelectronics, infrared devices and semiconductors, Sharp offers one of the broadest and most advanced lines of consumer electronics, business products and electronic components. Sharp provides a variety of innovative solutions designed to help increase productivity while providing functionality to meet customer demand. Dedicated to improving people's lives through the use of advanced technology and a commitment to innovation, quality, value and design, Sharp Corporation recorded consolidated annual sales of over $13.5 billion in the fiscal year ended March 31, 1998 and employs about 48,000. For more information, please visit Sharp's website at www.sharp.co.jp
STMicroelectronics (NYSE:STM) (formerly SGS-Thomson Microelectronics) is a global independent semiconductor company, which designs, develops, manufactures and markets a broad range of semiconductor integrated circuits (ICs) and discrete devices used in a wide variety of microelectronic applications, including telecommunications systems, computer systems, consumer products, automotive products, and industrial automation and control systems. According to Dataquest estimates, ST is the world's leading supplier of Special Automotive ICs, including car entertainment products. In particular, in the segment of car entertainment, based on market estimates and on ST sales, the company's a market share in 1997 was above 20%. Also according to Dataquest, the company is the leading producer of MPEG-II compressed video and audio decoding ICs with 40.6% market share. ST has alliances with major manufacturers in Europe, the US and Japan and currently sells products to many car audio manufacturers. In addition it supplies chips for the WorldSpace digital satellite radio service -- the first of its kind in the world. Further information on ST can be found at www.st.com
In September 1998, Mr. Panero announced the company's name change from American Mobile Radio Corporation (AMRC) to XM Satellite Radio Inc. In addition, the company announced its first major programming agreements partnering with brand name radio, print and broadcast media companies including:
USA TODAY, the nation's largest selling newspaper;
Bloomberg News Radio, the country's leading source for financial news;
Heftel Broadcasting Corporation, the country's largest Spanish language radio broadcaster;
Salem Communications Corporation, the nation's premier Christian broadcaster;
AsiaOne, a major provider of Asian news and entertainment; and
C-SPAN Radio, to provide its signature audio coverage of public affairs events on Capitol Hill and around the country, often live.
Many more programming deals are anticipated this year.
XM Satellite Radio Inc. is based in Washington, D.C., and owned by American Mobile Satellite Corporation (NASDAQ:SKYC) and WorldSpace, Inc. The company obtained one of two satellite digital audio radio service (SDARS) licenses from the FCC in October 1997. In March 1998, XM awarded a contract to Hughes Space & Communications International and Alcatel to build two high-powered, direct-broadcast satellites. In addition, XM satellite construction is on schedule, and the company recently completed terrestrial repeater technology testing in Washington, D.C., and Germany. XM plans to launch its satellites and begin providing up to 100 channels of digital audio with crystal-clear sound from coast-to-coast in 2000. XM's selection, quality and convenience will make it America's first choice in audio entertainment. For more information, please visit XM's website at www.xmradio.com