New York — Sirius Satellite Radio announced today it has developed a new proprietary technology that will increase the company’s total network capacity by 25 percent, within its existing digital transmission system.
The new technology does not use compression and will not degrade sound quality, said a spokesman. Known as hierarchical modulation, it has the potential for even further capacity increases beyond 25 percent, he said.
The modulation technology will be available in future products, but cannot be received on current Sirius radios. Users will not lose any of their current Sirius content, but they will not receive additional channels resulting from the modulation. A spokesman noted that future services such as traffic and weather data and video would require new receivers anyway.
Sirius said the increased capacity could also be used to add new music and talk show channels.
“Our new modulation technology will use a very innovative approach to increase the number of bits we transmit through our satellite and terrestrial repeater networks, enabling us to increase the effective use of our currently licensed spectrum to add additional programming for the benefit of our subscribers,” said Jim Meyer, Sirius’ sales and operations president, in a prepared statement.
The new technology was developed by Sirius’ advanced development team based in Lawrenceville, N.J. It will require minimal upgrades to the Sirius satellite uplink and terrestrial repeater infrastructure, said the company. Sirius has already conducted several tests of the technology to confirm its performance, it said.