Sprint announced this week that they will be putting FM tuners in their cell phones. About time! The Radio Industry has been pushing this idea for quite some time. But the American cell industry keeps ignoring this.
Letting people have the ability to listen to local radio in their cell device without the need of a cell phone tower or Wi-Fi becomes very important in times of disasters. All this takes is a chip in the phone to add in a radio tuner.
We in Kansas know that when a storm hits our area, cell phones become unreliable and useless. And when the power is out, cell phones don’t work, there’s no TV … what do we do? We try to find a portable radio to listen to a local station for information and news.
The cost of adding a chip to pick up radio station via radio airwaves (not using the cell phone towers) is a few cents per phone. In fact, overseas in countries like England, cell phone users have an FM radio tuner in their cell phones.
This is a no-brainer and why it is taking the American cell industry so long to understand this is dumbfounded. This is a matter of public service.
I’m guessing what happened with Sprint is a high level Sprint executive lives in the NE, got hit by the recent Hurricane Sandy, power went out, looked at his useless cell phone and wanted to listen to local radio but couldn’t.
I’m hoping this is a trend for other cell companies to follow.