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T-Mobile, Amazon Make Big Announcements

Carrier offers unlimited streaming, plans “UnRadio,” while Amazon releases Fire smartphone

Amazon Fire smartphone displays the Firefly feature.

Two tech announcements this week pertain to radio: T-Mobile offering unlimited music streaming and Amazon is releasing its Fire smartphone.

T-Mobile announced that music streamed from several partners will not count towards a customer’s data plan. Those streamers are: Pandora, Slacker, Spotify, Rhapsody and Apple’s iTunes Radio. T-Mobile also plans to introduce an online radio service with Rhapsody called UnRadio that is ad-free.

The carrier is also in talks with Sprint about a possible $32 billion merger, reports the New York Times.

It remains to be seen how a deal could affect the radio industry’s effort to promote FM-enabled smartphones. Sprint has a deal with Emmis on behalf of the radio industry for the NextRadio smartphone app. We reported yesterday that NextRadio app is now preloaded on 17 models of Sprint smartphones.

And Amazon launched its long-rumored Fire smartphone. A key feature is Firefly, which recognizes objects and media playing around the user and compiles them into a list for action, according to the company.

While it isn’t FM-enabled, several streaming radio apps are available in the Amazon Appstore, including Pandora, iHeartRadio and Spotify.