New Call to add FM Radio Chips to Cell Phones

by chris on June 27, 2011

Another broadcaster has come out in support of forcing cell phone manufactures to add FM chips to all cell phones as a public safety measure. The floods, fires and Tornadoes that have caused death and destruction in many areas in the USA appear to be part of the reason that prompted this Television General Manager to speak out. “Having an FM chip in every single smartphone sold in America should not be an option, it should be a service provided by every telecom company out there as a matter of public interest” says Mike Smythe, VP/GM of Raycom’s CBS KFVS-TV 12 out of Cape Girardeau MO. Smythe called on smart phone providers to do the right thing and turn on the chips that are already in most models, at no charge to consumers, no less.

KFVS serves the Paducah-Cape Girardeau-Harrisburg-Mt. Vernon DMA, and Smythe used his own chunk of spectrum to go to bat for the safety and well-being of his own viewers in the event of a natural or manmade disaster. In an editorial, he said that an activated FM radio chip should be a free service provided in every single smart phone out there as a simple matter of public safety.

Smythe had to go no farther back in history than the recent devastating tornadoes in Joplin and elsewhere. Cell towers were downed, rendering mobile phones useless. But radio stations were still up and running, providing critical information to the devastated area. He said there is absolutely no question that every person in that area with a mobile device would have loved to have access to radio during that excruciatingly difficult time.

Most of the rest of the world has FM available on their mobile device, noted Smythe, and he said 50% call broadcast radio one of the top three features on their phone.

Read the full story here thanks to RBR

I recently experienced a cell phone with an FM receiver as my iPhone was being repaired. This loaner phone (An LG Gossip pictured above) while lacking many of the functions of my iPhone was simple to use and allowed me to save my favourite stations. It provided very good FM reception provided I had the headphones plugged in.  Having an FM receiver in a cell phone offers a real benefit to consumers and is not difficult for manufactures to provide.

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