1worldspace, formerly known as 'WorldSpace', is a currently defunct satellite radio
Satellite radio
Satellite radio is an analogue or digital radio signal that is relayed through one or more satellites and thus can be received in a much wider geographical area than terrestrial FM radio stations...

 network that provided service to over 170,000 subscribers in eastern
East Africa
East Africa or Eastern Africa is the easterly region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. In the UN scheme of geographic regions, 19 territories constitute Eastern Africa:...

 and southern Africa
Southern Africa
Southern Africa is the southernmost region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. Within the region are numerous territories, including the Republic of South Africa ; nowadays, the simpler term South Africa is generally reserved for the country in English.-UN...

, the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

, and much of Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

 with 96% coming from India. Timbre Media along with Saregama India plan to relaunch the company.


The company headquarters is located in Silver Spring, MD and additional studios are located in Washington, DC, Bangalore
Bengaluru , formerly called Bengaluru is the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka. Bangalore is nicknamed the Garden City and was once called a pensioner's paradise. Located on the Deccan Plateau in the south-eastern part of Karnataka, Bangalore is India's third most populous city and...

, Mumbai
Mumbai , formerly known as Bombay in English, is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India, and the fourth most populous city in the world, with a total metropolitan area population of approximately 20.5 million...

, New Delhi
New Delhi
New Delhi is the capital city of India. It serves as the centre of the Government of India and the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. New Delhi is situated within the metropolis of Delhi. It is one of the nine districts of Delhi Union Territory. The total area of the city is...

, and Nairobi
Nairobi is the capital and largest city of Kenya. The city and its surrounding area also forms the Nairobi County. The name "Nairobi" comes from the Maasai phrase Enkare Nyirobi, which translates to "the place of cool waters". However, it is popularly known as the "Green City in the Sun" and is...

. Before filing for bankruptcy in October 2008, 1worldspace employed two satellites and broadcasts 62 channels - 38 of which were content provided by international, national and regional third parties and 24 1worldspace-branded stations produced by or for 1worldspace. Most of the channels used to be available only through a subscription plan.

1worldspace claimed to be the only company with rights to the world's globally allocated spectrum for digital satellite radio. However, it never made 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 and bankruptcy proceedings.

The company filed for bankruptcy in October 2008. For a while Liberty Media
Liberty Media
Liberty Media Corporation is an American media conglomerate and the control is exercised by company Chairman John C. Malone, who owns a majority of the voting shares....

 sought to buy the assets, but in June 2010, a company called Yazmi USA owned by former WorldSpace founder, chairman, and CEO Noah Samara
Noah Samara
Noah A. Samara is a Chief Executive Officer of WorldSpace, the world's first to launch satellite radio system. He also played a pivotal role in the foundation of XM Satellite Radio. He claimed what motivated him to found WorldSpace is to give millions of people in Asia and Africa access to...

 purchased the remains for US$5.5M.

European operations were liquidated in the spring of 2009.

On December 25, 2009, the company issued notices to all of its subscribers in India that WorldSpace service in India would officially be terminated from December 31, 2009, with no refunds given to its subscribers, on account of bankruptcy.

The company was known as "WorldSpace" until July 2008.

On July 18, 2011, Forbes
Forbes is an American publishing and media company. Its flagship publication, the Forbes magazine, is published biweekly. Its primary competitors in the national business magazine category are Fortune, which is also published biweekly, and Business Week...

 India reported that Timbre Media is re-launching WorldSpace Radio in association with Sa Re Ga Ma
Sa Re Ga Ma
Saregama India Limited, formerly The Gramophone Company of India is an Indian music company. Saregama also works in the home video business...

 in September 2011, although it will only be streamed through mobile phones, the Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

 and direct-to-home television networks. Reportedly, old WorldSpace receivers will no longer work. The re-launch will start with 40 stations and eventually have as many as 120 stations, including sub-categories such as music for cardio-workouts.


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 with content specific to the local geographic region. Sports coverage includes content from Fox Sports Radio
Fox Sports Radio
Fox Sports Radio, abbreviated FSR, is an international radio network consisting of sports talk programming. The network is a service of Premiere Networks...

 and talkSPORT
Talksport , owned by UTV radio, is one of the United Kingdom's three terrestrial analogue Independent National Radio broadcasters, offering a sports and talk radio service broadcast from London to the United Kingdom....

 in addition to regional coverage. 1worldspace also broadcasts news from well-renowned sources such as BBC
BBC World Service
The BBC World Service is the world's largest international broadcaster, broadcasting in 27 languages to many parts of the world via analogue and digital shortwave, internet streaming and podcasting, satellite, FM and MW relays...

CNBC is a satellite and cable television business news channel in the U.S., owned and operated by NBCUniversal. The network and its international spinoffs cover business headlines and provide live coverage of financial markets. The combined reach of CNBC and its siblings is 390 million viewers...

Cable News Network is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States...

NPR, formerly National Public Radio, is a privately and publicly funded non-profit membership media organization that serves as a national syndicator to a network of 900 public radio stations in the United States. NPR was created in 1970, following congressional passage of the Public Broadcasting...

Radio France Internationale
Radio France Internationale was created in 1975 as part of Radio France by the Government of France, and replaced the Poste Colonial , Paris Mondial , Radio Paris , RTF Radio Paris and ORTF Radio Paris...

, and WRN
WRN Broadcast
WRN Broadcast, formerly known as WRN, is an international broadcast services company that works with television channels and radio broadcasters, media owners and brands enabling them to deliver content to target audiences worldwide....

. Additional content includes channels that highlight poetry and literature, comedy, talk shows, and inspirational and religious programming.

1worldspace's program directors and announcers operate from studios in Washington, DC, Bangalore, and Nairobi, where 18 original music and lifestyle channels are created for distribution. Four of these stations were previously available in the United States on the XM Satellite Radio
XM Satellite Radio
XM Satellite Radio is one of two satellite radio services in the United States and Canada, operated by Sirius XM Radio. It provides pay-for-service radio, analogous to cable television. Its service includes 73 different music channels, 39 news, sports, talk and entertainment channels, 21 regional...

 network. This arrangement ended in 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
Thales Alenia Space
Thales Alenia Space is an aerospace company born after the Thales Group bought the participation of Alcatel in the two joint-ventures between Alcatel and Finmeccanica, Alcatel Alenia Space and Telespazio.-History:...

), EADS Astrium
EADS Astrium
Astrium Satellites is one of the three business units of Astrium, a subsidiary of EADS. It is a European space manufacturer involved in the manufacture of spacecraft used for science, Earth observation and telecommunication, as well as the equipment and subsystems used therein and related ground...

 and Arianespace
Arianespace SA is a French company founded in 1980 as the world's first commercial space transportation company. It undertakes the production, operation, and marketing of the Ariane 5 rocket launcher as part of the Ariane programme....

 (France), SED
SED Systems
SED Systems is a communications company supplying both systems and services to the satellite industry. Originating in 1965, SED is located in the Innovation Place Research Park on the University of Saskatchewan campus...

 (Canada), GSI
GSI may refer to:* Several geographical or geological organisations:** Geological Survey of India** Geological Survey of Iran** Geographical Society of Ireland** Geological Survey of Ireland** Geological Survey of Israel...

(USA), Fraunhofer Institute (Germany), ST Microelectronics (Italy), Micronas (Germany) and others.

Space segment

1worldspace operates two satellites: AfriStar
AfriStar is a satellite family, operated by 1worldspace.The orbiting satellites and the satellite in storage were built by Alcatel Space and EADS Astrium, formerly known as Matra Marconi Space...

 and AsiaStar
AsiaStar is an American communications satellite which is operated by 1worldspace. It was constructed by Alcatel Space and Matra Marconi Space based on the Eurostar E2000+ bus design. Launch occurred on 21 March 2000, at 23:28 GMT. The launch was contracted by Arianespace, and used an Ariane 5G...

. Making it available in Asia, Africa, Middle East, and parts of Europe.

Ground segment

The regional operations centers for the satellites are located in Silver Spring, Maryland
Silver Spring, Maryland
Silver Spring is an unincorporated area and census-designated place in Montgomery County, Maryland, United States. It had a population of 71,452 at the 2010 census, making it the fourth most populous place in Maryland, after Baltimore, Columbia, and Germantown.The urbanized, oldest, and...

 for AfriStar and Melbourne, Australia for AsiaStar. These centers manage the performance and status of the satellites by controlling them and monitoring there. 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.

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.

The radio sets, or receivers, which can pick up 1worldspace signals are manufactured by South Korea's AMI, India's BPL
BPL group
British Physical Laboratories Group is an Indian electronics company that deals with consumer appliances , home entertainment products and health care devices.-History:...

 and China’s Tongshi, among other corporations. Discontinued models were manufactured by JVC
, usually referred to as JVC, is a Japanese international consumer and professional electronics corporation based in Yokohama, Japan which was founded in 1927...

, Sanyo
is a major electronics company and member of the Fortune 500 whose headquarters is located in Moriguchi, Osaka prefecture, Japan. Sanyo targets the middle of the market and has over 230 Subsidiaries and Affiliates....

, Hitachi
Hitachi is a multinational corporation specializing in high-technology.Hitachi may also refer to:*Hitachi, Ibaraki, Japan*Hitachi province, former province of Japan*Prince Hitachi and Princess Hitachi, members of the Japanese imperial family...

, and Panasonic
Panasonic is an international brand name for Japanese electric products manufacturer Panasonic Corporation, which was formerly known as Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd...

. The radios consist of a satellite receiver plus an antenna
Antenna (radio)
An antenna is an electrical device which converts electric currents into radio waves, and vice versa. It is usually used with a radio transmitter or radio receiver...

 that has to be placed in clear view of the relevant satellite, and properly oriented to the user's geographic azimuth and elevation. A new receiver manufactured by Delphi
Delphi is both an archaeological site and a modern town in Greece on the south-western spur of Mount Parnassus in the valley of Phocis.In Greek mythology, Delphi was the site of the Delphic oracle, the most important oracle in the classical Greek world, and a major site for the worship of the god...

 using open standard
Open standard
An open standard is a standard that is publicly available and has various rights to use associated with it, and may also have various properties of how it was designed . There is no single definition and interpretations vary with usage....

 ETSI Satellite Digital Radio
ETSI Satellite Digital Radio
ETSI Satellite Digital Radio describes a standard of satellite digital radio. It is an activity of the european standardisation organisation ETSI....

 technology will be used in Europe if and when the company enters the market.

Stock value

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
The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal is an American English-language international daily newspaper. It is published in New York City by Dow Jones & Company, a division of News Corporation, along with the Asian and European editions of the Journal....

 published “WorldSpace Risk: Disputed Terror Ties Follow Key Backers.” The reference alludes to WorldSpace Corporation’s financial underwriters among the Saudi royal family
House of Saud
The House of Saud , also called the Al Saud, is the ruling royal family of Saudi Arabia and one of the wealthiest and most powerful dynasties in the world. The family holds thousands of members...

, 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
Motley Fool
The Motley Fool is a multimedia financial-services company that provides financial solutions for investors through various stock, investing, and personal finance products. The Alexandria, Virginia-based private company was founded in July 1993 by co-chairmen and brothers David and Tom Gardner, and...

 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
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, 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.” In 2007, Seth Jayson, writing for the Motley Fool, stated that WorldSpace was "one of the most rancid stocks I've ever seen". On October 17, 2008 the stock hit a new low of $.18.


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. WorldSpace recorded a $36.0 million net loss in the second quarter of 2008, as compared to a net loss of $51.2 million in the second quarter of 2007. Throughout the past year the company has been in deep debt and currently owes its creditors over $50 million, due to be paid in September.


The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
Bankruptcy is a legal status of an insolvent person or an organisation, that is, one that cannot repay the debts owed to creditors. In most jurisdictions bankruptcy is imposed by a court order, often initiated by the debtor....

 protection on Friday, October 17, 2008. The reorganization includes a 90-day $13 million debtor-in-possession financing
Debtor-in-possession financing
Debtor-in-possession financing or DIP financing is a special form of financing provided for companies in financial distress or under Chapter 11 bankruptcy process. Usually, this security is more senior than debt, equity, and any other securities issued by a company...

approach, with the hopes of obtaining added funds to repay senior secured notes and convertible notes
Convertible bond
In finance, a convertible note is a type of bond that the holder can convert into shares of common stock in the issuing company or cash of equal value, at an agreed-upon price. It is a hybrid security with debt- and equity-like features...

. The company's wholly owned India affiliate is not covered by the bankruptcy filing.

High-profile resignations

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.

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. 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.

In July 2008, WorldSpace changed its brand and corporate identity to 1worldspace.


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. 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.


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
Digital Audio Radio Service
Digital Audio Radio Service or DARS refers to any type of digital radio service. In the United States it is the official FCC term for digital radio services....

 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. 1worldspace plans to start providing mobile radio and data services in Italy using a combination of satellite and terrestrial broadcasts in late 2009. It has signed an agreement with Fiat
FIAT, an acronym for Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino , is an Italian automobile manufacturer, engine manufacturer, financial, and industrial group based in Turin in the Italian region of Piedmont. Fiat was founded in 1899 by a group of investors including Giovanni Agnelli...

, an Italian
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 automobile manufacturer, to make radios capable of receiving the signals available to car owners. Fiat plans to make such radios available as a bookable option made prior to purchasing a car. 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
ETSI Satellite Digital Radio
ETSI Satellite Digital Radio describes a standard of satellite digital radio. It is an activity of the european standardisation organisation ETSI....

 (SDR) open standard
Open standard
An open standard is a standard that is publicly available and has various rights to use associated with it, and may also have various properties of how it was designed . There is no single definition and interpretations vary with usage....

 in the new European coverage beam. The receivers for the new markets will be manufactured by Delphi
Delphi (auto parts)
Delphi Automotive PLC is an automotive parts company headquartered in Troy, Michigan, USA. Delphi is one of the world's largest automotive parts manufacturers and has approximately 146,600 employees ....

 and will deliver a gap-free coverage to vehicles similar to that of Sirius XM Radio vehicular mobile service.

External links

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