WorldSpace's revolutionary digital satellite radio system has been qualified for service following tests, the company announced at the show yesterday.

"It is a truly historic monent in the history of radio and broadcasting," says Noah Samara, chairman and CEO of WorldSpace.

The company will inaugurate its service with the AfriStar satellite already in orbit. Later, services to Asia and Latin America will be provided by the AsiaStar and CaribStar satellites.

The launch of AsiaStar on board Ariane 504, the first commercial mission of the Arianespace booster, has been delayed for further evaluation of a potential solar cell problem on the satellite. The delay could be beyond August into the autumn, WorldSpace said. CaribStar is due for launch in 2000.

The WorldSpace portable L-band digital receivers being produced will be marketed to a potential audience of 4.6 billion people, mainly in the developing countries of the world.

WorldSpace was described yesterday as a "vision driven company - to provide information affluence".

Source: Flight Daily News