Sprint Says Yes to FM Chip in Smartphones
Radio’s efforts to get FM into smartphones just took a
big step forward.
Sprint announced a preliminary arrangement with radio broadcasters —
negotiated principally on the radio side by Jeff Smulyan — that it says marks
the first time a U.S. wireless carrier will offer the ability to access local
FM radio on a broad array of devices.
The agreement will
let its customers listen to local FM stations and aggregators on certain
Android and Windows smartphones over the next three years. FM could be
delivered through the NextRadio tuner application or other radio apps or
“Consumers today can listen to radio on
smartphones by streaming over the Internet,” the company noted. “As part of this
plan, Sprint customers could use their smartphones and the NextRadio tuner to
listen to local FM radio stations.”
That NextRadio tuner
is being demo’d this week at International CES show and will be available later
this year. It promises users interactive features plus availability of local FM
The announcement from Sprint includes citations
of delight from several radio industry leaders including NAB’s Gordon Smith, Clear
Channel’s Bob Pittman and Emmis’ Jeff Smulyan, who has been vocal on the
importance of developing relationships between radio and wireless companies.
In the announcement he called it a “remarkable day for our