AIR-WorldSpace, which was supposed to be launched on January 26 along with DD Bharati, has been delayed and is likely to take off sometime in February.
WorldSpace, a satellite radio service covering several parts of the world through its AsiaStar, AfriStar and AmeriStar beams, already has AIR on its platform, but only on Afristar. According to informed sources, the AsiaStar beam of WorldSpace will broadcast the AIR channel from February onwards.
AfriStar, which covers Eastern Africa and the Gulf regions, will continue to have AIR on its platform. The same channel will be available on AsiaStar from next month. The AsiaStar beam covers India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Burma, Singapore, Malaysia, among others.
The content of the AIR channel on the two beams will be different from each other. While AIR on AfriStar has special programming, which is part of the external services, catering to a foreign audience, the AsiaStar channel will focus more on India-centric programmes.
With the launch of AIR channel on WorldSpace in the AsiaStar beam, Indians in the remote and hilly areas will receive AIR programmes in crystal-clear quality. To receive this service, one needs to buy a WorldSpace radio set, which is available in India in various models.
WorldSpace activities, which were approved by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board at the time of setting up operations in India, related to content development, acquisition, audio software development and export and a host of other activities linked to digital audio and data broadcast efforts in India.