Indian Govt Wants Companies To Enable FM Radio On All Mobile Phones


Last Updated: May 09, 2023, 17:18 IST

Mobile phones in the past few years have launched with FM Radio

Mobile phones in the past few years have launched with FM Radio

FM Radio has almost disappeared from smartphones launching in the past few years but that could change with the new order.

India wants all mobile phone makers to offer FM Radio on their phones from here on. The country’s government has told the Indian Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) and the Manufacturers’ Association for Information Technology (MAIT) to ensure that FM Radio is provided on all mobile phones which can be helpful to people during natural calamities and emergencies.

The IT Ministry has issued an advisory that mandates all mobile phones should come equipped with a built-in radio receiver and enable it by default. And if a brand does not have it on their phones then they have to include it as a part of the feature set.

“Further, it is advised that if the FM Radio receiver function or feature is not available in mobile phones, it may be included,” MeitY told ICEA and MAIT, who now have to inform the manufacturers to make these changes on priority.

Most of you might be aware that except for the feature phones, most smartphones don’t have FM Radio these days. Brands might have felt that with the growing streaming market and apps like YouTube, Radio was no longer needed. But they seem to have forgotten that radio service can be helpful in remote areas and costs less than what Apple offers with its Satellite tech on the iPhones.

The IT Ministry has noted that in the last 4 to 5 years the FM Radio feature has gone out of fashion, which means a lot of people don’t get free FM Radio service anymore.

“The FM broadcast is a robust and reliable communication system. FM stations serve as important communication links between the local authorities and people in times of natural disasters (in catastrophic situations),” the ministry added.

The Ministry states that even the International standards mandate having radio receiver for delivering early warnings and alerting the public. “The availability of a vast network of FM transmitters and FM radio in the country played a key role in India’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic,” said the ministry in its advisory.

Now it remains to be seen how the manufacturers respond to the advisory and if so, how quickly will they be able to integrate FM Radio receivers in their phones. This is especially intriguing for brands like Apple that have never provided FM Radio on iPhones in any market.

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