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Please unlock my FM Radio chip
RichGinNY
Enthusiast

Hi,

Been a Verizon customer for over 10 years. Just bought a Samsung Note 5 & Learned that you block the use of the FM radio chip for simple radio station reception.

I'm requesting that you change your policy & make real FM radio available to us through our phones.

Thanks....

Rich

Labels (1)
Re: Please unlock my FM Radio chip
Tidbits
Legend

It's not that simple like those articles you've been reading making it sound like. It will not happen. Yes the radio is capable, but it is not hooked up like the way it is needed to work. It would require a hardware revision and FCC approval.

Re: Please unlock my FM Radio chip
mama23dogs

Neither Verizon or ATT have service that allows FM radio use.  Even those with active chips (HTC phones) can't use them on Verizon.

Manufacturers that make Phones for Verizon dont include active FM chips and in many cases no FM chips at all.

THis is a hardware, not software issue.

MY understanding is the FCC has to approve FM radio use and Verizon doesn't have it.  Att has applied, but has not been approved.

Re: Please unlock my FM Radio chip
whyverizonwhy
Enthusiast

So Tidbits, mamadogs- whose overhead would be increased by Verizon AND the phone manufacturers making sure that the phones that manufacturers produce for Verizon had workable FM radios. Verizon's overhead? Manufacturers'? Both?

The other 3 major carriers seem to be moving toward phones having the feature. Sprint I believe has some arrangement with the American broadcasting industry, though I don't know how that industry is involved exactly- maybe they absorbed some of the cost. AT&T recently said they will request manufacturers activate the chip, whatever that means.

Bottom line I'm wondering is what is the actual cost of it? If it's a hardware cost, then the manufacturers are either losing money, or charging more when selling phones to Sprint, T-Mobile, or AT&T that are FM enabled.

FCC approval? Couldn't the FCC require phones to have FM capability if the couple of house reps pushing for universal FM radio capability on cell phones get their way with FCC chairman, Tom Wheeler. So are there licensing costs from the FCC? Do the other 3 carriers pay them then? Are they different for each carrier?

Sorry for all the questions, but you guys, esp. Tidbits seem to be answering all of these threads regarding lack of FM radios in Verizon phones, so I figured you must have the answers!

Re: Please unlock my FM Radio chip
mama23dogs

I'm sure Tidbits can tell you more than I.

What the rumor is, is that manufacturers want to charge Verizon more to make the FM chip active.  Since it can't be used, Verizon won't pay for it.  I know some, or all HTC phones have FM chips active.

Re: Please unlock my FM Radio chip
whyverizonwhy
Enthusiast

Right OK, so does that mean the manufacturers are charging the other carriers to make the FM chip active? And if HTC phones have FM chips active, does that mean active on Verizon? I read a review of the new One Plus X that mentioned an activated FM chip too.

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Re: Please unlock my FM Radio chip
Tidbits
Legend

The other carriers are opting to pay for FM radios because that's what their customers want and also to not differentiate themselves from everyone else. Manufacturers charge the fees they will have to pay Qualcomm to allow them to use the radio and also the extra amount they have to pay the FCC for testing. Carriers tend to opt out because they feel they shouldn't pay for it. Sprint pays for it even though the software they use is free they never said anything about the hardware.

If the FCC regulated that it is a must and want people to buy on they have to subsidize the cost set by manufacturers or expect a small price increase for devices. 4 years ago the general population didn't like the fact a particular Verizon phone was $50 more expensive. Also notice how many unlocked and non branded phones don't have FM radios as well, or they have them and they are often more expensive than US versions of the same phone before VAT tax. I wholeheartedly believe FCC should regulate hardware, and software charges as foul play and force manufacturers to support their own devices like they do in Europe.

I don't mind having FM radio on phones as long as I don't have to pay for it.  If it is for convenience and saving on data that's fine.  I am a firm believer if you are going to claim it is for emergency use then you need to rethink why a $700+ phone is more reliable and than a $20 handcrank waterproof radio that every business and every home should have a few of with their emergency rations. Yes I used to live in Tornado Alley. I also used to live in California and dealt with quakes. I also survived multiple hurricanes in my lifetime. People are ill prepared if they have to rely on a multi hundred dollar item that gets wet will no longer work as a source of information. Wheeler is just doing this as a political move to get public backing so he can show himself as valuable. Remember elections are soon and it will decide who his next potential boss may be.

Re: Please unlock my FM Radio chip
Tidbits
Legend

Oh the reason why Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T don't mind fitting the bill is because they are not forced to support more spectrum than Verizon has to support on multiple bands(there's a charge for this). If the playing field was level I bet the results would look different.

Re: Please unlock my FM Radio chip
whyverizonwhy
Enthusiast

Thanks for all the clarification Tidbits. That last bit you said I don't fully understand but it seems to answer my question of do the carriers all pay the same fees. According to what you're saying they don't because Verizon is forced to support more spectrum on multiple bands. This multiple band support is something that makes the FM radio more expensive for Verizon? Why is Verizon forced to support more spectrum than the others?

As far as Verizon passing the costs onto phones, I guess they could do that, but wouldn't it make more sense to charge more for service since Verizon and I think all the carriers are getting away from profit by selling phones anyway. I recently went off contract and switched to Verizon's much cheaper month to month no contract plan and a month later broke my Note 2! I found out that I can't switch back to contract/subsidized so I'm looking to buy a used Note 4 maybe and staying on month to month, or the alternative is Verizon will give me a payment plan for a new full price phone. I like the idea of phone carriers getting away from sales of phones, or at least linking them to plans.

Re: Please unlock my FM Radio chip
mama23dogs

Tidbits is the wizard behind the curtain! 

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