Satellite radio, also called subscription radio (SR) or digital radio is a satellite-based radio broadcast service. It uses direct broadcasting satellites (DBS) a type of satellite used for consumer services such as radio and television programs. A direct broadcasting satellite is similar to a fixed service satellite (FSS), but offers a higher power output requiring smaller antennas for receiving the signal.
Satellite radios are most commonly used by consumers in automobiles as it offers better sound quality and more station programming choices over traditional AM and FM radio. The two most notable satellite radio providers include Sirius and XM. The two companies merged in 2007 to create a single satellite radio network in the United States and Canada. In the United States, satellite radio providers are licensed by the Federal Communications Commission.
Consumers typically pay for Satellite radio programming on a monthly subscription basis.