U.S. satellite radio to use repeaters to fill coverage gaps

Washington - Federal regulators in the U.S. have given two satellite radio companies temporary permission to use a ground-based signal repeater to bolster their digital radio services.

The decision by the Federal Communications Commission will allow Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio to send radio signals into areas of spotty coverage.

The companies will also use the repeaters to get signals to downtown areas where skyscrapers can get in the way.

Mobile phone companies have argued against the use of ground-based repeaters because they believe they might interfere with cell phone service.

A trade group for the radio industry, the National Association of Broadcasters, also has come out against allowing the repeaters.

Both satellite radio companies are planning to provide nationwide service in the coming months.

The companies had asked for temporary licenses because the FCC has not yet developed rules for the use of ground-based repeaters.

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