Another Call to Activate the FM Chip Inside Canadian Smartphones

Inside virtually every smartphone is a chip that allows the device to receive free over-the-air FM broadcasts. Telcos are apparently loathe to activate the chip because that might mean diverting us from using our data plans. Can’t have that, can we?

There is, however, a (slowly) growing movement to make it mandatory for those chips to be enabled, if for nothing more than emergency situations. There’s also a big push for an overlay program called NextRadio which completely changes the FM radio listening experience. US wireless providers–Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile–are already on board with FM chip activation.

The latest call comes from the City of Toronto. Mayor John Tory’s executive committee is looking at a motion that would ask telcos like Rogers, Bell, Telus and Freedom to turn on the FM radio chip in Android phones. Why just Android and not iOS? Got me.)

Why just Android and not iOS? Got me. Anyone know why iPhones are excluded from this action?

(Via the CBC)


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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One thought on “Another Call to Activate the FM Chip Inside Canadian Smartphones

  • Given JT’s previous gig at Roger’s, he might have a little pull in this area.


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