Interoperable Radios: Are they already out there?

Friday, July 6, 2007 at 8:41 AM
Tags: 2, XM

Interoperable Satellite Radios
Interoperable Satellite Radio receivers. For the consumer, it would be the ultimate in flexibility: the ability to buy a single radio and choose between Sirius or XM as you desire. But it's just a dream, right?

What if it was a reality? What if Interoperable satellite radios existed, right now?

That's what is being suggested by Michael Hartleib in a series of communications to the FCC. But before we entertain this notion, let's actually define what "Interoperable Radios" really are. Without a definition you've got, well, nothing.

In his letter to the FCC, Hartleib defines an "Interoperable Radio" as a receiver with chipsets that can process signals from either Sirius or XM, and "would require some type of switching mechanism to move between one service provider to the other." Think of it like switching between AM and FM. While in AM, you can only listen to AM stations, and while in FM you can only listen to FM stations. Easy concept right?

Then there's a "Dual Mode Radio." Dual Mode Radios have chipsets that can receive and process both XM and Sirius satellite signals, simultaneously, "therefore giving consumers continuous access to ALL satellite radio channels." Another easy concept to digest. In one hand you have Interoperable, which switches between services; and in the other you have Dual Mode, which mashes them all together at once.

Now here's the kicker:
"I have been told this [Interoperable Radios] could be achieved via a firmware update from the satellites to the receivers," Hartleib writes in the letter.

Let that sink in for a minute. Interoperable Radios - receivers that can switch between XM or Sirius - might already exist. And all you need to make it happen, is an over-the-air firmware update.

The problem is that they're not commercially available. There's just never been a good business case to bring that capability to market. Understandably so.

The fact is, the FCC never really enforced the Interoperable Mandate of the SDARS license. They required the development of an Interoperable receiver, but never created a reason for it to be commercially available. You can't blame Sirius or XM for not pushing this. Both have spent billions just to acquire the customers they already have. Why further dilute your product by allowing consumers to switch? The Wireless industry doesn't do it... and they MAKE money!

In case you're wondering, Michael Hartleib actually met with Michelle Carey, Senior Legal Advisor to Chairman Martin and a representative of the Media Bureau in late June (PDF). And the letter (PDF) I'm referring to here was actually a follow up to help define the terminology, and reconfirm his position. It's packed with gems like calling the NAB "misinformed and/or disingenuous" so if you want read it, just follow the jump below...

 
--snip-- 

 

July 4, 2007 

Marlene H. Dortch
Secretary
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, D.C. 20554

 

Re: Consolidated Application for Authority toTransfer Control of
       XM Radio Inc. and Sirius Satellite Radio Inc.
       MB Docket No. 07-57

Dear Ms. Dortch:

In an attempt to provide clarity on the Interoperable Mandate, I respectfully submit for your consideration the following:

Dual Mode Radios include chip sets that can receive and process both sets of signals (one from Sirius Satellite Radio and Terrestrial Repeaters and one from XM Satellite Radio and Terrestrial Repeaters) simultaneously, therefore giving consumers continuous access to ALL satellite radio channels.

Interoperable Radios include chip sets that can process signals from either Sirius Satellite Radio and Terrestrial Repeaters OR from XM Satellite Radio and Terrestrial Repeaters, but NOT BOTH simultaneously, and would require some type of switching mechanism to move between one service provider to the other (ie: switching from AM to FM – you can only access AM channels when you are switched to the AM mode and you can only access FM channels when you are switched to the FM mode). I have been told this could be achieved via a firmware update from the satellites to the receivers. 

It is important for the Commission to understand the details of these definitions as they are at the heart of the arguments being raised by parties that oppose the merger.

In a recently submitted Engineering Statement Prepared on Behalf of the National Association of Broadcasters, it is suggested that satellite radio companies cannot be trusted as they have failed to meet the F.C.C. mandated interoperable obligations. It is also suggested that the companies will not be able to deliver on their promises to provide additional and diverse channels (ie: multi-cultural, multi-lingual and/or educational programming). With the current hierarchical compression, they argue that it is not possible to add any meaningful programming without degradation of sound quality. The argument is that the companies will not have the spectrum and/or channels available and that additional content and channels would have to be added on a one-for-one basis; meaning, as one channel is added one channel must be removed.

With all due respect to the N.A.B. and Mr. Dennis Wallace (the preparer of said report), I believe they are being misinformed and/or disingenuous. In speaking with Mr. Wallace, and discussing the conclusion of his report, he confirmed to me that current production receivers ARE capable of receiving EITHER service from XM Satellite Radio OR Sirius Satellite Radio, but not both simultaneously. I ask you to please review the conclusion portion of the Engineering Statement dated March 16, 2007:

Conclusions:

It is not possible for the current production satellite receivers to simultaneously (emphasis added) receive both the XM and Sirius signals. In order for consumers to simultaneously (emphasis added) receive the signals of both providers, they would need new (emphasis added) interoperable radios or need to purchase two separate current production receivers. A merger of XM and Sirius would not change the technical parameters or implementations of their respective SDARS systems. Consumers would still not be able to receive the signals of both SDARS providers without buying a new (emphasis added) interoperable radio, or by using two radios simultaneously, one for Sirius, and one for XM. Progress on the design and implementation of a new (emphasis added) unified and interoperable radio has been slow and still has not yielded any commercially (emphasis added) available receivers. The joint venture of XM and Sirius has been ongoing for over seven years and still has not produced the interoperable radio as required by FCC Rules. This fact may indicate the complexities of design and costs are difficult challenges to resolve. The FCC rules

9 Ibid.

I agree with the conclusion as it is factually correct, however, I ask the Commission to please note the use of qualifying words (ie: simultaneously, new, commercially)  and read the above again without the qualifying words which have been placed to mislead and confuse this issue. I hope the Commission can see through this rather transparent attempt to obscure the truth: interoperable radios do exist as is supported by the March 14, 2005 letter authored by Patrick L. Donnelly of Sirius Satellite Radio and William Bailey of XM Satellite Radio where they jointly “reconfirm their compliance with Section 25.114(a)(3)(ii) of the Commissions rules by including interoperable radios in their respective system design”. The Engineering Statement seems to conveniently avoid any reference to the companies’ reconfirmation of their compliance with the Interoperable Mandate.

I believe Sirius and XM have contributed to the confusion surrounding the capabilities of current receivers on the market. In their letter of March 14, 2005,  Sirius and XM state that they “are optimistic that, at a minimum, a prototype for this type (emphasis added) of interoperable radio (ie: a receiver using a common antenna, a common RF Tuner, and two baseband modules, one for XM and one for Sirius).  I ask the Commission to notice that they are qualifying which type of interoperable radio they reference.

On July 2, 2007, Mel Karmazin, in an exclusive interview with TWICE stated:

Karmazin : The opportunity exists for us to commercially (emphasis added)  market an interoperable radio. Right now we have developed it. There's one in my office right now, which is an interoperable radio, which is a receiver that in essence has an XM component and a Sirius component sort of Velcro-ed together. So we developed that, and one of the things that we have the opportunity to do is to market it into retail stores as an interoperable radio, one (NASDAQ:ROIA) that would be priced attractively and be able to get the consumer both services. A radio that gets the best of both services is sort of attractive and again enables the two companies to not water each other down but to have a stronger service while competing with all of these other technologies.

I ask the Commission to please note the use of the qualifying word, commercially, and read the above again without the qualifying word. I would argue there is  no need to use the word “commercially” other than to confuse the issue. It is my opinion that interoperable radios have already been “marketed” through O.E.M. channels without the consumer’s knowledge and that these receivers could not be “commercially” marketed due to the following reasons:

  • the companies have not agreed to enable the interoperability function (via a firmware update)
  • the F.C.C. has failed to enforce the mandate to require the companies to do so
  • the companies may not have the proper certification from the F.C.C. to do so
  • and due to the exclusive and exclusionary contracts with the O.E.M.’s by Sirius and XM

The following excerpt is quoted from Interoperable Technologies, LLC which is the joint venture owned by Sirius and XM:

It is acknowledged that SIRIUS, XM and their manufacturing partners already (emphasis added) produce receivers that permit end users to access all Satellite Digital Audio Radio systems in compliance with FCC interoperability (emphasis added)  obligations. Furthermore, there currently is no assurance that the XM or Sirius manufacturing partners will build dual-mode (emphasis added) radios, that they will be cost competitive, or that any significant market for dual-mode (emphasis added) radios will develop. Even so, Interoperable Technologies stands to develop the opportunity for dual-mode (emphasis added) satellite radio technology.

It is my opinion that this reconfirms my position of interoperable radios being manufactured but not yet being made available “commercially” to the public. Please note after they acknowledge “that SIRIUS, XM and their manufacturing partners already (emphasis added) produce receivers that permit end users to access all Satellite Digital Audio Radio systems…” they seem to contradict themselves by saying “Furthermore, there currently is no assurance that the XM or Sirius manufacturing partners will build dual-mode (emphasis added) radios... or that any significant market for dual-mode (emphasis added) radios will develop.”  As you can see from the prior definitions of “Interoperable” and “Dual Mode”, they are not one and the same.

Based on the aforementioned observations, it is apparent that the F.C.C. must provide clarity on the lack of enforcement, compliance and implementation of their Interoperable Mandate. The Media Bureau and the International Bureau are unsure whether or not the companies are in compliance or in violation of the Interoperable Mandate. The Bureaus have forwarded my  Petition for Declaratory Ruling to the Enforcement Bureau for review as to the companies’ status of compliance. It troubles me that in the middle of a major transaction the public is being asked to comment on a proceeding rife with confusion even at the Regulatory level.

Respectfully,

Michael Hartleib

 

CC:
The Honorable Chairman Kevin J Martin
The Honorable Michael Copps
The Honorable Jonathan Adelstein
The Honorable Deborah Taylor Tate
The Honorable Robert McDowell
Thomas O. Barnett 

TrackBack/Ping:

Comments

AN antenna optimized for both services will be needed as well. A firmware update won't improve Sirius reception with my XM antenna.

So based on all of this information, existing head units in vehicles with traditional satellite receivers can be piggybacked to function as a single unit or a dual unit. If this is so, then this will be interesting, since many of your model head units that are 2 years older or more, are satellite ready specific. An example, my JVC head units are both Sirius Ready. Now I understand that JVC now has a receiver that's capable of receiving XM signals. I believe this is vice versus to Sony, whom uses XM Radio as it's service of choice for older model head units.
Personally, I believe this feature to be realistic when I see it functional with both of my JVC head units, in my vehicles. Otherwise, I am anticipating purchasing new hardware for both cars, to obtain this dual service and take advantage of this ala carte setup they have exposed as the future of satellite radio. And I don't like it by far. But I am one of those who want to recieve top notch service if I am to pay for it.

With the potential merger in mind, I'd buy an interoperable right now instead of the overpriced, under-featured Stiletto.

But don't they both need the respective chipsets? They would have to have both encryption decoders. A simple firmware update surely can't provide that.

Wow, if this were true.....it makes you wonder what Sirius really wants out of the merger discussion. Perhaps the FCC says, merger is not allowed, but to help out consumers who want content from both mandates that all Sirius and XM radios must offer both services. Who wins there? Sirius.

Sirius has to believe that if the consumer has a choice between XM and Sirius on all radios, it wins. And all car manufacturers win too.

Interesting...

>>"AN antenna optimized for both services will be needed as well. "

I didn't think the antennae mattered. I'll take your word for it, but why is that?

AN antenna optimized for both services will be needed as well

The XM antenna will work with both XM and Sirius receivers currently.

Sirius said the Chips that do both Sirius and XM were shipping in mid 2004.
The Chips are supplied to the Radio Manufactures by Sirius and XM. The Manufactures do not know what is in the chips they only know how to hook them up to the display, Power ect. Are they making a Radio that receives Sirius and XM? Cost is not much of a factor when it comes to putting more in a Chip and since Sirius and XM supply the Chips the cost for the maker of the radio would be the same as using Chips for only one service.

Everything points to that Radio that does both being in peoples hands since latter 2004.

XM cannot survive if that radio exists because Sirius has so much more content for the same price.

If people with XM radios that came with the car are given the choice to switch to Sirius i am sure Millions would switch and it would be the end of XM.

I think Sirius is paying way to much for XM because i am sure that Radio is in millions of Cars now.

"XM cannot survive if that radio exists because Sirius has so much more content for the same price."

There are many dual subscription listeners who disagree with you. They're paying the $13 to both services because each has something the other doesn't.

As to interoperable receivers: nothing would make me happier. I'd love to be able to "flip a switch" and have my two Nexus units suddenly work on both networks, but I also find myself skeptical. A lot of rumor and wishful thinking has come down the pipe lately with little data to back it up.

I also think the questions raised by the petitioner are worth asking,as my perception based on the available information, along with other patents starting in 2004..have led me to the same point. I hope the fcc forces the issue on behalf of the consumers and shareholders prior to any other action being taken on the subject of merger.

that said it sounds like they the (fcc) may have also played a major role in the failure of these devices coming to market.


There are many dual subscription listeners who disagree with you. They're paying the $13 to both services because each has something the other doesn't.
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I doubt that there are enough to keep XM in business if XM radios could become Sirius Radios with just a phone call.
How many people have both is something i would like to know.

"XM cannot survive if that radio exists because Sirius has so much more content for the same price.

If people with XM radios that came with the car are given the choice to switch to Sirius i am sure Millions would switch and it would be the end of XM."

I'm a dual subscriber and the only plus for me to Sirius is the NFL without that Sirius is useless to me. I love XM and don't want a merger at all. Everyone has different opinions but don't assume Sirius is all that and XM sucks because it's not true. For you maybe it is but not to everyone. I could say the same about Sirius but I know it doesn't suck just doesn't suit my listening needs besides the NFL.

"XM cannot survive if that radio exists because Sirius has so much more content for the same price."

??? 170 channels v. 130? Do the extra 40 channels that XM carry have no content on them? You're an idiot. Have you ever listened to XM? Do you have any idea what you are talking about?

I would never turn my XM radio into a Sirius if I could just blink my eyes. Sirius sucks.

If you read the original FCC documents, you'll find the original idea was a system with three competing providers, not just the two we ended up with. I believe it was Lockheed, though my memory may be incorrect, who was the third potential player.

At a technical level, I believe the writer is absolutely correct -- there should be no serious technical challenge to interoperable radios beyond provisioning them with the additional channel data. The concept of a "dual mode" radio flys in the face of the original FCC mandate, in which more than two potential broadcasters were mandated. If "dual mode" devices appear which ONLY support the current two players (collapsing into one) that would be as ridiculous as not allowing the existing devices to be upgraded to interoperable.

The FCC actually mandated a better system than the licensees have chosen to implement. Even as they come together, their plans to offer "dual mode" are still designed to prevent a competitor from entering the market. Under the FCC plan, should the two merge, they should be forced to merge their satellite licenses, and the extra one (and the original third) should be re-auctioned.

Score many points for corporations, subtract many points from the FCC for ineffective regulation and enforcement, and just stab the consumers (citizens).

"XM cannot survive if that radio exists because Sirius has so much more content for the same price."

I could not disagree with this any more than I do. Every retail customer has a choice of which to buy. Nobody buys a car solely because of the satellite radio that is installed in the dash. XM has more subs now and XM would still have more subs if the radios could switch hit.

Sirius has better talk (I subscribe to both so I do know) but XM has better sports coverage. XM has now much better NCAA coverage than Sirius. Didn't use to be like that. XM has MLB and as a serious NFL fan I have to say that baseball is the better radio bet.

If my Inno (don't have a Stiletto because it sucks wind compared to my Inno) could get both Sirius and XM I would do it in a heartbeat even if the price remained the same. I would move my Sirius sub from my Starmate to the Inno, but I wouldn't dream of dropping XM because of it.

You may prefer the content on Sirius to the content on XM and you have like 6.5 million people that agree with you, but a tiny fraction of XM customers would jump ship because they have the option to do it now and won't. You're wrong. You're wrong. You're wrong.

When I subscribed to sirius back in '05, pratically the only thing I found myself listening to was the NFL, NFL Radio, and the NBA games. Aside from those, I realized that I can do without sirius. That's why I cancelled and remained as an XM sub.

Thus I would strongly disagree that XM subs would become sirius subs in a heartbeat.

I think that the way to curb an exodus due to sudden interoperability, especially after the merger, would be to

1. Place all the music channels on XM's bandwidth.
and
2. Place all the non-music (news/talk/sports/entertainment/etc.) channels on the Sirius' bandwidth.

If they were to do that, then an interoperable and tiered-pricing would make sense.

But a Dual-Mode reciever sounds more ideal if it would come to fruition, thus eliminating the need to "switch modes".

I went with XM for the baseball programming. There you have one reason to choose one over the other.

Engadget had a post about this subject this morning. one of the last comments on the page mentioned something about siri and xm releasing a joint statment back in 2000 saying that the two companies had agreed to manufacture radios that could recieve EACH OTHERS signal in the event that one of the companies went out of buisness. has anyone here seen any mention of this joint press release anywhere??? Ryan?...Tim? this could be something to look into?

"If you read the original FCC documents, you'll find the original idea was a system with three competing providers, not just the two we ended up with. I believe it was Lockheed, though my memory may be incorrect, who was the third potential player."


There were originally 6 applications filed to be considered candidate licensees back in 1992; but by the time the FCC licensed DARS in 1997, there were only 4 remaining -- CD Radio (Sirius), American Mobile Radio Corporation (XM), Primosphere Limited Partnership and Digital Satellite Broadcasting Corporation.

During the NPRM phase during the 1990's, the FCC considered many impacts and the potential size of the market. There was also originally 50MHz of the S-Band allocated for DARS, however Congress took back half of it during the discussion process, leaving them only 25MHz. So during the NPRM phase they asked how much bandwidth would be needed to operate the sucessfully. It was at this time that they determined that a minimum of 12.5MHz would be needed for a DARS operation to function -- and so that limited the number of licenses down to 2.

The licensing order then set up an auction for the 2 licenses to be bid on by the 4 remaining applicants. The obvious 2 winners were CD Radio and American Mobile Radio Corporation.

So to conclude, it's not that there were 3 possible providers considered -- there was twice the amount of bandwidth allocated originally, however Congress took that away early. And what remained only left room for 2 providers -- with 4 potential applicants.

Lockheed was never one of the applicants. The 2 losing bidders were Primosphere Limited Partnership and Digital Satellite Broadcasting Corporation. Primosphere was a holding company for Cliff Burnstein and Peter Mensch's Q-Prime (band management guys -- think Metallica, RHCP and others). Primosphere's plan was to create an advertiser supported music system. The other losing bidder, Digital Satellite Broadcasting Corporation, was a Seattle based company headed by William Caldwell, who wanted to do a system that was similar to CD Radio's. Their bids were too low -- in the $65-75 million range. CD Radio's bid was around $84 million and AMRC's was around $89 million.


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rkb,
its a factual comment I have read it a couple many times it was even filed with the sec..and i read it there also.

http://contracts.onecle.com/sirius/xmradio.dev.2000.02.16.shtml

this is from the end of the document its real long

"PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

Sirius Radio and XM Radio Form Alliance to Develop
Unified Standard for Satellite Radios


New York, NY and Washington, DC -- February 16, 2000 -- Sirius
Satellite Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI) and XM Satellite Radio (Nasdaq: XMSR) today announced an agreement to develop a unified standard for satellite radios.

The standard is expected to accelerate growth of the satellite radio category by enabling consumers to purchase one radio capable of receiving both companies' broadcasts. XM Radio and Sirius will jointly fund development of the technology and work together to proliferate the new standard by creating a service mark for satellite radio. As part of the agreement, each company will contribute its intellectual property to the initiative and have
agreed to resolve any pending patent litigation.

"This standard is good news both for consumers and for the category," said David Margolese, Sirius Chairman and CEO, and High Panero, XM President and
CEO, in a joint statement. "This will allow for reduced subscriber acquisition costs, more satellite radios in the marketplace, and a simplified choice for consumers."

The unified standard will represent a second generation of satellite radios. At the time of the commercial launches of XM Radio and Sirius, consumers
will be able to purchase radios capable of receiving one of the two companies' broadcasts. These radios are already being developed by leading
electronics and automotive manufacturers. XM and Sirius will work with their existing automobile and radio manufacturing partners to integrate the new
standard under the terms of their existing agreements. All future agreements with automakers and radio partners will specify the new satellite radio
standard.

XM Radio and Sirius are each building a digital satellite radio service for consumers, offering up to 100 channels of audio entertainment for a monthly subscription fee of $9.95. For more information about the companies, visit XM Satellite Radio at www.xmradio.com and Sirius Satellite Radio at


back then twice ran this with comments from both sirius and xmsr management.

http://www.twice.com/article/CA40529.html?q=sirius


By Joseph Palenchar -- TWICE, 2/21/2000
Satellite digital radio broadcasters XM and Sirius have agreed to temper their rivalry and cooperate on ways to promote the satellite-radio market.

The two companies announced plans to jointly finance the development of dual-mode radios that would be able to receive both companies' planned 100-channel services. They also agreed to share their intellectual property to make the project happen and targeted availability in 2004.

The two companies further agreed to create a joint service mark identifying satellite radios, provide coverage for each other in case one of the services suffers an outage, and work to resolve their patent-infringement litigation.

Although the FCC has mandated that interoperable radios be available, it is not requiring that all satellite radios be dual-mode, said Steve Cook, XM senior sales and marketing VP. In clarifying the FCC mandate, he said the FCC doesn't require retailers or manufacturers to sell only interoperable radios, only that the two providers make interoperable radios available.
As a result, some automakers and manufacturers could continue to offer only single-mode radios even after dual-mode models are available, Cook said. But Sirius and XM "would encourage" automakers and suppliers "to take the interoperable direction to generate the greatest category growth."

"the two companies had agreed to manufacture radios that could recieve EACH OTHERS signal in the event that one of the companies went out of buisness. has anyone here seen any mention of this joint press release anywhere???

RKB,

As tim wallick showed you, not only is this true -- it is mandated in the licensing of DARS.


"As an alternative to this Commission mandating standards we will require that a satellite DARS applicant, in its application, certify that its satellite DARS system will include a receiver design that will permit users to access all licensed DARS systems that are operational or under construction. Satellite DARS licensees, during the construction of their satellite systems, will have an opportunity to work among themselves toward a final receiver design. We agree with commenters that it is in the interest of the satellite DARS licensees, and consumers, for the licensees to come to agreement on a single DARS receiver design. We also agree with commenters that, alternatively, a single transmission standard would be in the interest of the satellite DARS providers and consumers, independent of whether it is developed by the Commission or by industry, but we will not mandate use of a certain technology. If satellite DARS licensees redesign their systems to use conforming transmission technology, receiver complexity would be minimized and receiver costs would be lowered correspondingly. We believe that, at the very least, consumers should be able to access the services from all licensed satellite DARS systems and our rule on receiver inter-operability accomplishes this. We also agree with CD Radio that it is unnecessary for satellite DARS consumers to file for a license for their receive-only terminals. Indeed, the Commission has not licensed receive-only earth stations for years in an effort to deregulate such operations."


So in 2000, XM and Sirius entered into a Joint Development deal that established the ground work for the inter-opable receiver -- which is the filing/link posted by Tim.

A couple years later (2003), they created a joint LLC called Interoperable Technologies. This is the group that is working on the joint receiver. The company is located in XM's Research & Development labs in Florida.

The problem is that the FCC never mandated a time table for this. I believe that this merger nonsense is going to bring this issue to a head -- merger or not.


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Can someone explain this to me? They mandate Interoperable receivers in case a company goes under.... and then when they want to merge they will say no. So they both can go under? Congress stinks and I dont like them.

thanks for the info guys. i guess i missunderstood the original comment from the engaget post. i took it to mean that the two companies had built within the "existing" recievers the ability to recieve each others signal.not as you all have posted the addition of a "third" type of reciever(which i think by now we all know was mandated by congress)......also the original bandwith that congress took back all those years ago?? isnt that the same bandwith that AT&T et al have today? and is the basis for some of the bad blood over repeater towers and cell towers??

rkb,

"i took it to mean that the two companies had built within the "existing" recievers the ability to recieve each others signal."

it looks like they have done just that.information has surfaced to confirm the Hartlieb position on the subject. ("confirmed from multiple sources, this is indeed the case.")

i will stay out of this and let ryan do his best to explore and expose the truth and facts on this very important "satellite radio issue"


Who is Hartlieb and what are his qualifications to be able to claim the things he's claiming? Thats a big claim to say that current receivers can get either service.

Keep in mind that in an interview on Sirius Buzz, Hartlieb admitted to being a share holder and to being "pro merger". This brings up serious credibility issues to make claims over technology that may not be there. Doberman completely avoided that one question over Hartlieb's claim, of which has been picked up by media oulets all over the world. How could doberman get an exclusive interview with the guy and not even ask him about his claim that is making so much press?

The whole thing smells funny. Do not believe everything you read in the press and especially from this Hartlieb commentor. Dont believe it until he gives his qualifications and can acurrately attribute his claims to a reliable source. Until then, too many are getting caught up in wishful thinking over technology that is likely not there.

Mr. Hartleib's qualifications appear to be in filing petitions with the FCC. He's apparently filed at least 8 times with the FCC in regards to the Xm and Sirius merger since April.

He's filed a Petition for review, a Petition for rulemaking and a Petition for declaratory ruling. He's also had 3 Ex Parte presentations on June 26, June 27 and July 3 with Fcc staff, all related to the Fcc's recent NPRM over the current rules.

Funny thing is, he even quotes satellite radio news websites as credible fact. And throughout all his filings he maintains that "he's been told" that some current receivers can receive both services with a firmware upgrade. Yet he doesnt cite his sources or quantify how this can be in any way. The public is just supposed to trust what he says.

Its insane that some of the tech sites actually picked up on this bull@#$%. Good job doberman. Give a guy a computer and internet access and its amazing what they can convince so many naive readers to think is the truth. This Hartleib guy is so obvious a poster on these boards, who likely lost his shirt and is now desperately seeking to save it by pushing the merger in any way possible. He's already admitted to being a pro merger shareholder. Time to come clean Hartleib.

Annonymous Coward: Thank you for your interest on this rather important subject. I very much appreciate your input and admire and respect your passion for this issue. But please let me take this time to set the record straight. I have only filed one Petition and that is a Petition for Declaratory Ruling. I can assure you my intentions are genuine as I believe there is way too much confusion surrounding the Interoperable Mandate. Yes, I am a shareholder and I am in favor of the pending merger, but only if the consumer and/or shareholder have all of the facts prior to being asked for their vote and/or comments. I have been very clear that my objective, first and foremost, is to protect my interest as well as the interest of other satellite radio consumers and/or shareholders. I have been careful to disclose this prior to filing any comments. I have supported and backed up my claims and spent many many hours researching and have forwarded these documents to the Regulators, that being the Department of Justice and the F.C.C. I have had multiple meetings with virtually every bureau of the F.C.C. as well as Chairman Martin's office and have more scheduled. The recent efforts by me in filings have been a work in progress for nearly two years. As for the Ex Partes filed, it is a requirement by law dictated by the F.C.C. It is apparent by the reaction of the Regulators that this issue is of great concern to them as well. If I was "@#&%" like you suggest, I doubt that they would be wasting tax payers' money and sending my Petition to the Enforcement Bureau of the F.C.C. to ask for guidance and/or clarity as to Sirius and XM's compliance with the Interoperable Mandate.

Mr. Hartleib, its not your intentions or actions that raised question with me, entirely. But mostly your qualifications and claims that you made that were unsubstantiated, unchallenged and not attributed.

I dont care what you say, until you say where you heard it and that it can be verified. If you want to claim that some Xm and Sirius receivers can receive either service after a firmware upgrade, then you better be damn sure ready to back up that claim and not say "I was told". Because you being told doesnt cut it.

To make claims like that, which are unsubstantiated, raises serious concerns over your credibility.

Anonymous Coward What are you Michaels shadow?

I doubt Michael remembers all you say he did.

Kind of strange that you are following everything he has done. Who are You to care that much?

Mr. Hartlieb, thanks for sharing with the readers of Orbitcast some background info on yourself and this confusing sitiuation. Speaking for myself whenever someone quotes an anonymous source it raises credibility questions.

Can you tell us if the people at the FCC with whom youve met are privy to your sources identity? I would think this info important when addressing such an august body?

Lastly, can you explain to those of us who may not be aware, exactly how a legacy unit capable of recieving both signals would benefit todays pro-merger investor?

Thanks,
.....RKB

i wonder what went wrong here and why the devices were delayed. (a time line for devices eoy06)ryan?

http://www.orbitcast.com/archives/interoperable-satellite-radios-becoming-a-reality.html

I know you all read this before, but here Sirius filed with the "sec "clearly stating they will use the interoperal device when [u]"available"[/u] its mentioned in the context of autos

can we define "available"

heres the link scroll down to bottom of page five....

http://www.sirius.com/pdf/SIRI_2002.pdf

I know you read this before, but here Sirius filed with the "sec "clearly stating they will use the interoperal device when [u]"available"[/u] its mentioned in the context of autos

can we define "available" and in what context was it meant, if they met the fcc mandated as they stated, something must be wrong.

heres the link scroll down to bottom of page five....

http://www.sirius.com/pdf/SIRI_2002.pdf

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