Sprint says it has come to "preliminary
arrangement" with the radio industry to enable an FM radio chip in some
Android and Windows smartphones.
Currently, radio stations can be streamed over phones, but
this would allow the phones to receive over-the-air broadcasts, something
broadcasters have been pushing for both radio and digital TV.
Sprint made the announcement in association with the
Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
"FM radio could be delivered through the NextRadio tuner
application or other radio apps or services," said Sprint in announcing the
agreement. "This announcement marks the first time a U.S. wireless carrier
would offer the ability to access local FM radio on a broad array of its
"I commend Sprint and the radio industry for reaching
an agreement to enable more mobile phones to receive FM broadcasts," said
FCC chairman Julius Genachowski, who is in Las Vegas for CES. "The ability
to receive FM broadcasts on mobile phones can give American consumers another
way to access critical information during emergencies."
"This opportunity combines the strengths of the Sprint
network with the impact of America's radio stations," said National
Association of Broadcasters president Gordon Smith in a statement. "It is
the type of business-to-business partnership that recognizes the unique
strengths of the wireless networks and the radio industry and provides services
that are so important to the American people."