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Mexico Requires FM Chip Activation

Function must be available in the unit, though, which apparently leaves Apple untouched

MEXICO CITY ��The effort to push activation of FM chips in smartphones in North America is getting a boost from Mexican lawmakers.

According to a story posted at eMarketer, �New Rules in Mexico Unlock FM Radio on Smartphones,� the Mexican communications authority in April approved a rule requiring smartphone manufacturers to �enable the technology that allows the device to pick up radio signals.�

The broadcast association CIRT applauded the decision, which it had been pushing. One observer said that the move is good for the FM chip effort throughout Latin America because manufacturers tend to use one set of product inventory to serve markets in the region.

NextRadio President Paul Brenner, who is a key point person on the push on smartphone radio chips, clarified for Radio World what the law does and does not do. Brenner said the Mexico law will require smartphone makers to activate the tuning feature if it’s available in the phone in the first place, which means it covers pretty much all late-model Android models, but he said Apple � still an elusive target for FM chip proponents � considers the radio tuning function as not available internally and therefore argues it is not covered by the law.

Separately the North American Broadcasters Association recently said it gained international support for the activation of FM radio receivers in smartphones,�as we reported; it submitted an “Opinion” that was adopted by the International Telecommunication Union in March.