As an aside..all cell carriers have been working on limiting access to the network by customers during a national or local emergency of substantial size. FM may be the only way to get timely info for a while if all you have is a cell phone. 1st responders will have the net to themselves during this time. 911 realigned a lot of communications priorities.
All broadcasters are required to use emergency messaging equipment AM,FM and TV including cable. I can see the benefit of an FM Rx in the phone if you could have it lay quiet until an emergency code is received to open the squelch so to speak. The current cell infrastructure is already overloaded and a national emergency message sent to all phones via the cell infrastructure would probably cause more than one or two "burps".
If I could have the EAS system via FM and have it function when I wanted it to...I'd buy in...I listen to mostly old 60-70's stuff anyway and do so via MP3 in car and at home. I do listen to AM talk radio a lot while in the car. I do not listen to radio at home much anymore. I do have a favorite AM tube radio I listen to from time to time just to hear that classic AM sound. I grew up DX'ing Am radio as a kid, and have always been enamored with HF propagation as a result.
Certainly, mandating FM in mobile phones is not the way to go. The world is moving towards wireless broadband and with LTE 4G wireless infrastructure in place in the next few years, all content will be delivered to the mobile phones over IP. With plenty of wireless bandwidth available on smartphones, we can expect innovative applications that could mimic FM like content services (such as Internet Radio) for those who need it. There is even scope for next generation emergency services that are rich in content (audio, graphic, video, text, alerts). So, the way to move forward is to let this evolution happen, to enrich user experience.
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How much will my monthly fee drop with the inclusion of this music advertising feature known as FM radio? That's how it will work isn't it, the NAB will be paying us to listen and then run out and buy their product?
I have no personal interests in having FM on my cell and frankly don't know anyone who might be interested. This looks like a step backwards and smells from communist type thinking (disclosure, I was brought up in Eastern Europe where certain frequencies were forbidden and radio manufacturer had to comply). Most people I know listen to digital music (Ipod). Texting is sufficient for alerts etc. My 2 cents...Kris
Considering the dwindling fortunes of broadcast industry, I’m not entirely surprised with this announcement. IMO, this is a last ditch effort by NAB to save its skin and by broadcasters to strike some sort of a ‘deal’ or else they’ll soon be out of business.
I, for one, am not willing to buy a cell phone with an FM radio, simply because I don’t need it. Why should I pay for a service which I’m never going to use? As for the excuse to use it as an emergency response procedure, give me a break. Any person reasonably familiar with cellphones and radio technologies knows that SMS works just as well for such situations. Therefore, the argument to include FM radio in so-called ‘public interest’ is a complete non-starter.
Does NAB really need to follow such dictator practices to bail out the struggling recording industry? Is innovation in radio technology dead? Or is the prospect of increased broadcast royalties overruling common sense?
- Keith Schaub
I received this from the National Ass'n of Broadcasters on why FM is a good idea, read for yourself:
I am not convinced; it should be a user choice, not a mandate, IMO.
What part of the US constitution gives the federal government the right to regulate this? O, I forgot, it must be the "interstate commerce clause". You Americans need to wake up and put and end to such nonsense.
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The UK government plans to "switch off" the FM band sometime in the next few years. They say we should all "go digital". If that happens (and there's a great deal of push-back and criticism of the idea) there won't be much point in having an FM receiver in your cellphone. An FM _transmitter_ in your music player (or cellphone), now that's a different matter. When all the big FM transmitters fall silent, it'll be much easier to broadcast your own low power local signals...
P.S. My actual guess is that an FM radio would need a relatively large antenna relative to the size of my phone. Listening on 900MHz or 2GHz is one thing, but the 100MHz band has 10x the wavelength, therefore needs 10x the antenna.