XM Satellite Launches Service
Also affecting the launch of the service has been some opposition from non-direct competitors. Prior to the launch, BellSouth Corp. and AT&T Wireless filed concerns with the FCC claiming that terrestrial repeaters (used to distribute the satellite signal in urban areas), though transmitting at a higher frequency, were still powerful enough to interfere with the Wireless Communications Service (WCS) band, a portion of the spectrum that both companies have payed hefty fees to use for applications such as wireless Internet. XM is saying that there is not enough evidence to support the claims of BellSouth and AT&T and are confident any potential problems could be solved.
Meanwhile, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), which represents terrestrial radio stations, is complaining that the existence of repeaters makes it possible for any satellite radio company to offer localized programming that could compete with local broadcast radio stations. NAB claims that if the national service model does not work out financially for XM or its competitor Sirius Satellite Radio, locally based service models are an alternative. At the launch, Panero did not say that the issues have been resolved, but noted that XM already has terrestrial repeaters in place and is working to resolve the concerns of its opponents. He does not see the complaints as serious threats to their business. "These are just the noises people make when there is a new technology on the horizon," he said.