From feature phones to smartphones, people's mobile habits have changed drastically. Users now rely on media streaming services such as Pandora and Spotify to tune in to their favourite music tracks, but these services require uninterrupted connectivity, unlike the FM radio.
FM radio used to be the go-to place for music, but people have learnt to tap other resources in the course of time. However, it looks like the good old GM radio is coming back.
Most smartphones do not have FM radio receivers activated by default even though the chips come with built-in antennas. Now, the Federal Communications Commission has proposed the revival of FM radio on smartphones.
FCC chairman Ajit Pai during an industry conference on Thursday said activating FM radio receivers on smartphones will help users save on the data and get emergency alerts at times of crisis, especially if Internet goes down.
However, it is worth mentioning that FCC doesn't have any congressional authority to issue a mandate on this subject, the Chicago Tribune reported.
If the cellular data usage goes down, carriers' profits will take a hit. Many app developers and tech companies make huge buck from media streaming services. And the lot are likely to take a dim view of such proposals.
As much as we'd like to see the FM radio receivers go active on smartphones, there's too much resistance.
"As of last fall, only about 44 percent of the top-selling smartphones in the United States have activated FM chips," Pai noted. "By comparison, in Mexico that number is about 80 percent."