AT&T has agreed to join Sprint in activating the FM receiver chip in all Android phones.
The #2 mobile provider in the United States will make FM chip activation part of their device specifications for 2016. Devices with the FM Chip and the NextRadio App active should begin to reach stores by the end of this year.
This announcement is only for phones running on the Android platform, as Apple controls the specifications for the iPhone regardless of carrier.
The NAB released the following statement in regards to the announcement:
In response to the announcement that AT&T will include FM Chip activation in their 2016 device specifications for Android smartphones, the following statement can be attributed to NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith:
“Today marks a new beginning in mobile technology with the agreement by a global iconic brand, AT&T, to light up the FM receiver chips in all of its future Android smartphones. With this decision, AT&T’s customers become the biggest beneficiaries, giving them access to local radio news, entertainment, weather, and failsafe emergency alert connectivity. With access to apps like NextRadio, AT&T’s listeners will also enjoy song tagging and interactivity features that have become increasingly popular with younger listeners.
“America’s broadcasters salute AT&T’s decision to serve its customers through collaboration with America’s local radio stations. Bravo!”
AT&T’s announcement today follows a 2013 announcement from Sprint to activate FM chips on select Android and Windows smartphones.