XM Satellite Radio reported that the company’s losses nearly tripled for its first quarter ending March 31, noting that its consolidated net losses increased to $42.7 million ($.80 per share), up from consolidated net losses of $14.2 million ($.30 per share) in the same quarter a year ago.
XM also said that it raised more than $200 million in the first quarter of 2001, enough funding to keep the company operational into 2002. Also this year, XM launched its first satellite “Rock” and plans to launch its second, “Roll,” on May 7th. That satellite is now being carried by ship to the Sea Launch Odyssey Launch Platform in open waters of the Pacific, near the equator.
XM Satellite Radio’s main competitor, Sirius, already has three satellites in orbit supporting a similar service it also plans to offer this year. However, Sirius has expressed concern about the availability of chipsets to power consumers’ radio units. XM, in partnership with STMicroelectronics, began recently to deliver production chipsets to XM’s radio manufacturers partners including Sony, Pioneer, Alpine, and Delphi-Delco for final validation, testing, and integration into XM-ready radios. The two custom silicon chips allow XM radios to receive and decode digital signals broadcast via satellite and terrestrial repeaters from XM’s studios in Washington, D.C. Launch of the commercial service is now slated for sometime in Q-3.