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David Frear, CFO at pay-radio operator SiriusXM, told the Bank of America Merrill Lynch media conference in New York that it was in the initial stages of a ‘Request For Proposals’ ahead of procuring two replacement XM satellites.
He told delegates that the two satellites were scheduled to launch in 2019 and 2020 and would take about three years to build.
“Our long-term operating constellation is five satellites. Two XM bands, two Sirius bands, and one spare to go to either side; and after the 2019 and 2020 launches, we will also have launches in ’23, ’25, and ’28.”
Frear added that each satellite would cost around $300 million to build, launch and insure.
He also told analysts that extra spectrum would be available to the new fleet, and that this additional bandwidth could be used for video and extra services. “It could be video, it could be audio, it could be vehicle-to-vehicle communications for autonomous cars, it could be all three,” he said.