WorldSpace plans to launch multimedia services by late January 2002, along with a $10-million infusion for new applications. It has started forging alliances with a variety of multimedia user groups like the Andhra Pradesh Government, Apollo Hospitals and IMD, besides a few business alliances.
WorldSpace plans to tie-up with the AP Government for distance and IT education, training of district officials, disaster warning along the coasts, and an ambitious tourism promotion plan overseas.
The company will also partner with Apollo Hospitals for medical info; the Department of Science & Technology to reach science clubs; with Bangalore University and IGNOU for distance education; and with IMD for disaster forecasts.
According to industry sources, WorldSpace’s AsiaStar accommodates 28 audio channels from out of a 60-channel capacity. AIR plans to use some channels on this satellite to reach its programmes to expatriates in West Asia. WorldSpace is also keen on replicating its South African experience, where it has been working with music companies to provide piracy-proof music downloads.