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Rosenworcel Supports FM Chips on Phones

But don’t look for a mandate, says the commissioner

At least one FCC commissioner supports the concept of enabling FM chips on smartphones.

NAB Chief Operating & Strategy Officer Chris Omelas brought up the issue during a regulatory panel here in Las Vegas at the 2014 NAB Show.

Omelas noted that in ongoing talks with carriers, they typically tell the broadcast lobbying organization that enabling the chip affects battery life and their handsets don’t have room for the antenna.

Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said, “I don’t think you’ll see a mandate. But we’re also not just regulators, we’re consumers. I think it would be really neat to have [an FM chip] on my phone and I think it would drain my battery a little less.”

Noting that one carrier, Sprint, has enabled FM chips on some of its smartphones, Rosenworcel said she hopes that she and her colleagues “will agitate carriers a little to make that happen.”

We’ve reported that Sprint has enabled FM chips on 11 of its models so far with a pledge to activate more.