Cellphone Radio: A Thank You From the NAB



David Rehr, President and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), is writing letters. In particular, he just fired one off to another President/CEO, in this case Robert Dotson, who helms T-Mobile USA.

It’s always nice to receive mail, unless it’s bills of course, and in this case, I’m sure Mr. Dotson quite enjoyed his epistle from the NAB. The topic, you see, is the announcement that the new Nokia 7510 phone is slated to launch with T-Mobile and one of its primary features is an FM receiver. When I first started writing for this blog back in early 2008, I saw this trend beginning to take hold in India and predicted that it would happen on this side of the pond sometime in the near future. That future is now.  The proliferation of radio receivers as a standard feature on mobile units is moving faster every day, a trend that I personally love watching evolve.

The fusion of mobile technology and broadcast is a vital one, especially in this era of smartphones which allow access to broadcast in a variety of ways including streaming over the Internet when a signal is not strong enough for the receiver to pull in. T-Mobile already has a number of mobile units that feature FM capability as a standard, and it is to be hoped that this continues.


Rehr noted in the letter that FM radio is an effective method for providing emergency alerts to cellular subscribers, that it is a value-added and low cost handset feature for consumers, and that FM radio can provide a foundation for incremental revenue for cellular network providers. “As an example, through RDS song tagging, a song heard on the FM radio in the handset can be tagged for later purchase over the cellular network’s existing music commerce system,” Rehr wrote. “This has been successfully implemented with the Microsoft Zune portable music player and can also be applied to making interactive advertising a reality.”

Radio continues to not only remain ubiquitous, but to also actively expand its reach as each new technology presents itself.  I’d like to join the NAB in thanking T-Mobile and Nokia for their forward thinking approach to audio delivery in this new age.

Photo courtesy of psd, used under its Creative Commons license


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