In the summer of 1998, AfriStar, the first of three geostationary satellites of the WorldSpace worldwide DAB system, will be launched. These three satellites will deliver digital audio signals having qualities equivalent to better than short wave, AM monaural, FM stereo, and CD stereo at data rates of 16, 32, 64, and 128 kb/s. These high-compression rates will be achieved by the most powerful coding scheme of the MPEG Audio family-the MPEG 1/2 Layer III. An overview of the WorldSpace system and the improved coding techniques for these very low bit rates are presented.
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