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T-Mobile Embraces FM Radio In Phones

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Aug 14, 2015, 4:06 PM   by Rich Brome

T-Mobile CEO John Legere announced today on Twitter that the company will "push" its phone manufacturers partners to include and enable FM radio features on T-Mobile phones. The move comes two weeks after AT&T announced a similar initiative. Most phones include some FM radio circuitry in the main chipset, but may not include all of the necessary connections to enable the feature. It is considered a relatively cheap and easy feature to include. Most phones with the feature use the cord of connected wired headphones as the FM radio antenna. The makers of the third-party FM radio app NextRadio have been campaigning recently for more phones to include the necessary hardware support. FM radio uses less battery and data than streaming music services, and of course the broadcasts are free to anyone in range.

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Aug 14, 2015, 6:26 PM

And the rest of carriers will follow

As they tend to do lately; imitating T-Mo at every turn just to keep their customers.
My old HTC Amaze 4G also has an FM radio chip and I use it without the SIM card in it. It's great to listen to FM simulcast of the Seattle Sounders soccer games when I am in a pub and the TV sound is off (as usual.) Because there is less delay on an FM broadcast than on TV, I usually hear the GOOOL before it happens on the TV. So I can act as some magician for the rest of them to predict the goals a few seconds before they see it. Great fun!
BTW, listing to the simulcast on the KIRO FM app over data connection is useless in this situation because of the compression and buffering, the sound is like 15 secs later than the TV.
And AT&T is following in Sprint's footsteps from a couple years ago.
But the article says T-Mobile is imitating AT&T.

Aug 14, 2015, 4:32 PM

Less Data?

FM Radio uses zero data. Absolute zero. It listens to frequency modulation signals, it doesn't go through cellular, wifi, or any other kind of data connection. My phone has an FM radio in it, and it works with all cellular/wifi/Bluetooth radios turned off and in airplane mode. It also works with the SIM card removed from the phone. Not only does it use less data, it uses none.
Yes but some apps use a marginal amount of data when connected. For example, nextradio (mentioned in the article) will pull information about the station you are listening too off the internet. Including band information and links to buy the song. Yes...

Aug 15, 2015, 3:38 PM

Older Phones Had It

Most of my Nokia (non-Lumia) phones from eight or less years ago not only had an FM receiver some had FM transmitters. I used the FM receiver on my 6301 more than with most models I had. When Internet Radio was included on the N78-3 I used the FM receiver a lot less and used the transmitter to stream to my sound system. I haven't looked to see if it is a feature on Lumia phones, to give a clue as to how relevant the feature is to me now.

I live in a tornado prone area so having an FM receiver that operated independently of the data would be useful for those six to ten weeks of the year when the weather gets interesting.

Aug 15, 2015, 12:23 PM


We're not gonna se fm for more than a few decades. Seems regressive
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