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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 September 2006, 16:15 GMT 17:15 UK
UK to get satellite radio by 2010
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Radio listeners in the UK are to be offered tailor-made satellite radio services by 2010.

Two groups say they plan to launch a pan-European service of up to 250 channels within the next five years.

US company WorldSpace hopes to expand after its service begins in Italy next year, while Spanish group Ondas Media plans a full European launch in 2010.

Twelve million US subscribers receive satellite radio, with advert-free shows hosted by the likes of Oprah Winfrey.

'Wide variety'

"We'll have a mix of a wide variety of music genres," says Torsten Freymark, chairman of Ondas Media.

"Jazz, classical, oldies rock, house, country - whatever people's listening habits are, we'll do it".

In the US, having satellite radios fitted in cars has helped to increase subscriptions.

Mr Freymark says his company is currently in talks with several car manufacturers, but "we will also have portable sets in our launch line-up".

WorldSpace, which is based in Washington DC, says it has been licensed to offer satellite radio in Italy next year.

According to Broadcast magazine, the company says it could offer the UK up to 50 advert-free stations as early as 2008.

Radio sets capable of receiving the satellite signal will cost around 65.

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