AT&T Will Activate FM Chips On Android Smartphones
July 28, 2015 at 2:54 PM (PT)
AT&T is the latest phone carrier to include FM chip activation, agreeing to a no-cost deal with NEXTRADIO for their 2016 ANDROID smartphone device specifications. And, the existing SPRINT deal remains active and in place.
In response to the announcement, NAB Pres./CEO GORDON SMITH said, "Today marks a new beginning in mobile technology with the agreement by a global iconic brand, AT&T, to light up the FM receiver chips in all of its future ANDROID smartphones. With this decision, AT&T's customers become the biggest beneficiaries, giving them access to local radio news, entertainment, weather, and failsafe emergency alert connectivity. With access to apps like NEXTRADIO, AT&T's listeners will also enjoy song tagging and interactivity features that have become increasingly popular with younger listeners. AMERICA's broadcasters salute AT&T's decision to serve its customers through collaboration with AMERICA's local radio stations. Bravo!"
EMMIS CEO JEFF SMULYAN, who has spearheaded the proliferation of the NEXTRADIO app, told ALL ACCESS, "I am on cloud nine right now. This was all part of a plan developed years ago and it's all coming to fruition. The plan was to make a deal with a smaller carrier and SPRINT helped us proved the concept. "We are thrilled about AT&T coming aboard and now we are approaching other carriers and manufacturers. Our next step is to continue to build out the ecosystem. The most important thing that broadcasters can do is to run the radio spots and promote the NEXTRADIO app and have people to ask their manufacturers for the FM chip to be turned on." To that end, SMULYAN indicated that additional talks were on-going.
During TODAY's House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology FCC Oversight hearing, Chairman GREG WALDEN (R-OR) publicly praised AT&T's decision to activate radio chips in ANDROID smartphones and noted that it is the second such deal announced in recent years. "We hope other carriers will follow suit," WALDEN said during the hearing.