Less than three weeks after AT&T agreed to activate FM chips in its Android-based devices, T-Mobile has become the latest carrier to pledge its support for FM receivers on smartphones. Responding to a NextRadio-led Twitter campaign, T-Mobile president & CEO John Legere says he will ask the telco’s handset partners to activate the chip.
“Hey @NextRadioApp – We heard you!,” Legere tweeted in response to an aggressive #SayYesToTheFMChip campaign on Twitter. “We’re saying yes to FM chip and will push our OEM partners to support!”
Legere’s response is seen as a first step. T-Mobile first has to convince its handset makers to activate FM chips with NextRadio in their device specifications.
NextRadio announced this morning that AT&T will be including FM chip activation in their 2016 smartphone device specifications. The next step is for AT&T to communicate their request to manufacturers to activate the existing FM chip in Android smartphones. NextRadio will be working over the next few months with their smartphone partners to begin the work of activating FM Radio and NextRadio on as many devices as possible. The activation timing is expected for all new Android smartphones releasing in 2016, with a chance of some phones being ready by year-end.
When we reached out to Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan this morning he was ecstatic. “This was a plan we developed many years ago. It was an industry decision that (NAB CEO) Gordon Smith and I, and a number of other people made, to either file an anti-trust suit, get a mandate in Congress or make a business deal. The people who brought wi-fi into this country said make a business deal with a smaller carrier and prove the concept. Then when we hit critical mass, about 2 1/2 million downloads, we would take the message to the industry and ask everyone to tell their listeners that all smartphones have an FM chip and they should contact their carrier to get it activated. Within 45 days of that message AT&T came to us and said let’s make a deal. The most important thing about this is if the industry tells listeners, we will be everywhere. We always felt that one big carrier was the tipping point and that’s where we are now.”
NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith said, “Today marks a new beginning in mobile technology with the agreement by a global iconic brand, AT&T, to light up the FM receiver chips in all of its future Android smartphones. With this decision, AT&T’s customers become the biggest beneficiaries, giving them access to local radio news, entertainment, weather, and failsafe emergency alert connectivity. With access to apps like NextRadio, AT&T’s listeners will also enjoy song tagging and interactivity features that have become increasingly popular with younger listeners.”
If Verizon refuses to providethisfeature - then I will look at T-Mobile for my service