T-Mobile says yes to the FM chip, will push OEM partners to do the same

tmobilefmchipnextradio

FM radio chips are pretty common in international smartphones, allowing users to tune in to terrestrial radio stations and not use up their often limited cellular data. However, those chips are often removed or disabled in phones released in the US. That could be changing soon for T-Mobile phones, though.

Today John Legere sent out a Tweet saying that T-Mobile is “saying yes to FM chip” and that the magenta carrier will “push our OEM partners to support!” The Tweet is in response to a campaign from NextRadio, a mobile app that lets you listen to radio stations on your smartphone, that called for T-Mobile customers to let Legere know that they wanted a working FM chip in their phones.

As I mentioned before, using an FM chip to listen to radio on your phone doesn’t consume data like it does when you use an app like TuneIn Radio. NextRadio does note that it uses your data to retrieve “images and interactive content” with radio broadcasts, but that that uses less than 10 percent of the data that streaming radio does. NextRadio does have a Tuner Only Mode if you’d prefer to not use any data at all.

FM radio also has the benefit of not consuming as much battery life as content that’s streamed using cellular data.

It’s pretty awesome to see T-Mobile agree to push for the inclusion of FM radio chips in its phones. FM radio could come in handy in many situations, like when you’re trying to conserve data or you’re in an area with a poor cellular signal. Of course, it’s not terribly surprising that T-Mo backed the FM chip effort given past efforts like Music Freedom, but it’s great nonetheless.

Does your smartphone have an FM radio chip? If not, would you use it if it did?

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  • Aurizen

    This is cool but good luck trying to convince apple

    • beyondthetech

      Do we even know if an FM chip is present in the iOS family? They’re pretty set on building their devices with their parts their way, so it’s unlikely that the feature is even there, let alone need Apple to turn it on.

      • Fabian Cortez

        With Apple being the OEM as well as the iOS platform owner, Aurizen‘s comment was with respect to Apple including an FM radio chip in their devices.

      • 21stNow

        I thought that the iPod Touch had an FM Tuner several years ago. Either way, I think that Apple will add the tuner to iPhones soon.

    • SMSGuru

      I had HD radio with an accessory available for the iPhone. The adapter was poorly designed because you couldn’t charge and listen to music at the same time because the adapter plugged into the charging port. Got the thing on clearance at Radio Shack for $5, but not being able to charge and listen to music was a to inconvenient so I stopped using it after a couple months. So, what you really should be asking is try getting HD radio on android…

      These phones should add HD radio and some kind of AM functionality. That would be neato and fairly easy to do.

      • SirStephenH

        A third party aftermarket accessory has nothing to do with Apple…

        • Esteban Trabajo

          Ummm actually it does. Apple enjoys wide spread accessory support from anyone and everyone because it is Apple and it’s an iPhone. More accessories are made for the iPhone than any other device. You stand corrected – does have to do with Apple. And FYI, the iPhone has radio capabilities it’s a common function of all Wifi capable devices. So your attempted point is moot…

        • SirStephenH

          The topic of the discussion today is BUILT-IN FM receivers.

          Also a third-party accessory is not built or approved by Apple and therefor has nothing to do with Apple in this discussion.

    • SirStephenH

      And you know if they do add it you know they’ll claim they “innovated” it.

  • Brian Richards

    Someone is running radio ads in LA featuring Poncherello from CHiPs. They claim all modern phones already HAVE the chip, it just needs to not be blocked. Sounds like tinfoil hat stuff, but who knows… anyone? Also, for me, FM isn’t the issue. I want a freaking AM chip in my phone.

    • Matt

      The radios are software defined so, in theory, it would be possible to put the programming in to receive FM signals.

      • SirStephenH

        FM requires a hardware radio.

    • SirStephenH

      There’s a little truth to it. Not every phone has the chip in the US, some have it and some don’t. There are many that have the chip though that have it disabled.

    • itguy08

      I heard that annoying commercial one weekend while camping. Seemed to be in heavy rotation along with some other scare tactics by the NAB. Seems they are getting very scared because of Satellite/Internet radio.

  • Geo G

    Only issue is a headphone needs to be plugged to get the FM radio on cell phones to work… So much for bluetooth connectivity!

    Grrrrr

    • trickinit

      It’s due to the amplitude of radio waves. They’re simply too big to be picked up without an antenna that’s at least a couple of feet long. Even portable radios have telescoping antennas. Your phone uses the wire in the headphones to pick up the radio waves. So yeah, it might be inconvenient, but there’s really no way around it.

    • Mike Palomba

      The headphones have to be plugged in in order to get the signal but once they’re in you have the option to play from the phone speaker or a Bluetooth device

  • Michael Tran

    which one consumes less battery? app using FM radio? or Tunein Radio playing local radio over data?

    • AngryBadger

      App using FM radio as per article. Not sure from actual benchmark use though.

      • Michael Tran

        duh i suck at reading :( Thanks for pointing that out.

  • steveb944

    The Alcatel One Touch Idol 3 has one, it’s a pretty neat feature. I always question why my sibling can listen to music for so long and then I remember.

  • Brian Richards

    BTW, pre-iphone era, I think every HTC winphone I had had FM in it. It used the headphone cord as the antenna.

  • J Cav the Great

    I remember the last phone I had with an FM tuner was the Mytouch 4G….however the chip in was not as Good as the one in my Legendary HTC HD2. I was able to tune in even to the hardest-to-obtain radion stations.. By the the one ibgot my GS3….streaming became more prevalent.. And therefore I never looked back..

    • Nate

      ahhhh, the great and wonderful HD2. What a joy that device was. Sadly, mine developed the power button problem which started causing all kinds of grief. But man that beast could run almost anything on it.

      • J Cav the Great

        I cracked my screen on mine..now its not responsive..Otherwise, I would still use it for nostalgic appeal..

  • Twomanychoices

    Good I miss it. Should have never been taken out in the first place. I guess I didn’t know it was blocked to make a few bucks by having you use your data plan. Lgg4 should have fm the international one dose maybe they can push a update to turn it back on.

  • Paul

    This could be very useful in emergencies when the power is out, and the nearby tower is out too. I’ve had this happen.

    • JG

      Don’t forget the radio station is going to need power to broadcast as well…

      But yeah, FM can be very helpful in emergencies. For one, it doesn’t matter how many people tune into a single FM channel. There will never be any network congestion, thus no throttled connections or random disconnects. And, as mentioned in the article, no need to worry about listening too much and blowing your data cap and having to pay a lot of excess. And the FM radio would use less juice than the LTE radio, so you’ll be able to maintain a connection for a longer period of time.

      And as we’ve learned from the upcoming auction, lower frequencies travel farther. FM is on a much lower frequency than LTE (88-108Mhz I believe). That means while some areas might be without cell reception of any kind, they’re likely not to be without FM.

      Of course one issue would be often, for the FM radio to function you’ll need to plug a pair of headphones into the device so it can use them as an antenna. I can’t speak for most, but I don’t usually carry headphones with me.

      • Fabian Cortez

        And as we’ve learned from the upcoming auction, lower frequencies travel farther

        Who is “we?”

        • JG

          Anyone whose been paying attention… John Legere has been rather vocal about making sure people are aware of why it would be so important for competition to make sure a duopoly controls almost all of the low band spectrum…

        • 21stNow

          I think that Fabian was saying that he didn’t just learn of this because of the upcoming auction. He already knew it.

      • orlando duran

        Of course no connection issues..it’s a one way signal

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      • SirStephenH

        “And, as mentioned in the article, no need to worry about listening too much and blowing your data cap and having to pay a lot of excess.”

        Um… T-Mobile doesn’t have hard caps…

        • JG

          True… And I suppose if the radio app wasn’t already part of Music Freedom, it would be eventually – which means even if you went past your high speed allotment it still wouldn’t be throttled…

  • JayBEE

    I won’t hold my breath in waiting for Samsung to implement this. Perhaps LG or someone else will… I miss my Nokia N900…

    • gmo8492

      The S6 does have a working FM chip on the Sprint and International models. T-Mobile for some reason has had it disabled since launch.

    • Mike Palomba

      I believe LG has already done this. My old LG G2 has an FM radio chip

  • Jeff Martinez

    Z1 Compact equipped and ready

  • The Lumia 521 and 925 have an FM radio chip, but it is kind of weak. I can’t vouch for the Lumia 640 or the HTC One M8 for Windows.

    • SMSGuru

      How is it weak? I got great reception using the feature on a 521. This is a basic / common feature on all Lumias. You know it only works with a decent pair of wired earphones, right?

      • I use headphones. There are certain channels I can get on my MP3 player that I either can’t receive or can barely receive on the phones. One such example is WCOS. When I am on the road, I can get WCOS-FM clearly on my mp3 player, but not on my phone – this is a station that is 50 miles north of me. Another example is WKXC, whose tower is 25 miles away. Again, good coverage on mp3 player, not so good on the phone. WDOG is just 13 miles away, same result.

    • Steve Griffin

      Isn’t this FMChip supposed to work without ear buds. Cuz I have the ability to listen to local FM stations with the cord. It would be nice to have AM too. I like to listen to some talk stations and FM doesn’t have many at all, if any at all. I have the 925.

      • Correct. It’s supposed to work without ear buds. However, for optimal reception, the headphone jack(s) is/are supposed to be a certain length.

  • NOYB

    The HTC One M9 has it.

    • gmo8492

      The Galaxy S6 has an FM chip too, but its currently disabled on the tmo model.

  • FILA

    ATT is requiring this in all phones in 2016, lol What about Crapple, they will probably be the exception

    • Zach Chadwick

      Your rude comment isn’t appreciated. I’m sure if John Legere sees that this will serve a great purpose, Apple will as well! and if Apple does introduce this feature, I’m assuming it will require EarPods to plugged in, to act as the antenna.

      • orlando duran

        Zach…his rude comment ? Wtf, my god grow a pair…..why do i-boi’s not have testicles?

      • Rod

        Any phone with an FM radio requires the head phones to be plugged I’m to use the radio

        • SirStephenH

          Not all phones require headphones but they’ll get a better signal with them.

        • Goat

          Can you elaborate on how headphones make the signal better? EDIT: Found the answer down below!

        • Abhi

          I haven’t herd of any (other than some old Chinese models with an extendable antenna), I assumed all of the current ones required the headphones to act as an antenna.

    • orlando duran

      Crapple will probably have it and claim that they have the next innovation in cellular phone technology.

      • GinaDee

        Apparently for T-Mobile it is since they’ve been blocking OEM’s from enabling this feature for years.

        Legere even goes to Twitter about it.

        Haven’t heard a peep from Apple about it? Have you?

        • Abhi

          The T-Mobile M8 and Z3 have their default radio app. So at least starting since last year they already included the radio app.

          As for Apple they have a strong enough market-share alone to dictate what they want.

          Sad to see this has degenerated into a fan war and insults lol.

          I have seen plenty of people buy iPhones/Android flagships who aren’t at all well off and cannot really afford a major data plan. With subsidies earlier it was ok for them. They can still get them through EIP. People will buy what they like be it Android or Apple, and flagship Androids can cost just as much.

          Don’t get why you guys need to insult or hate each-other over something as trivial as a phone. Its not like these companies are feeding you or taking care of you lol. Well their marketing seems to have gotten the better of you guys lol.

    • GinaDee

      Are you having financial difficulties? Did the EBT card fail to get the direct deposit on the 1st of the month?

      I would assume that anyone with an iPhone could probably afford a data plan thus negating the need for this ancient technology.

      Maybe we can start an online collection for you and buy you a 1980’s boombox with a built in FM receiver?

    • matt

      AT&T is not requiring it. they are only asking manufacturers to make them

    • itguy08

      Good thing there is no company called Crapple.

      And I hope they never put a useless FM tuner in their phones.

  • Thomas C.

    finally, sprint had this for almost 2 & 1/2 yrs already and AT&T said yes like 3 wks ago. should have done this a long time ago! thank goodness

  • A|E

    TV tuner is far better.

    • superg05

      i wrote samsung about it lol

    • ianken

      Given how poorly ATSC propagates that would be pointless. ATSC sucks, 8VSB (the modulation scheme) super sucks. Most of it is in the UHF band… good luck with an antenna for that in a phone.

      • matt

        uhf requires smaller antennas then a vhf would. back in the old days to get good reception you needed your outdoor tv antenna 10 feet above the roof line. now with atsc you only need 5 feet.

        i almost bought a tv tuner 30 pin on sale.i. it wasn’t even a real ATSC tuner. it was a ATSC-M/H tuner. meaning i could only tune into 3 stations in my area.

        so i think, if the iPhone would therotelically bundle a tv tuner , it wouldn’t be a ATSC tuner. it would be a ATSC-M/H one.

        the iPhone is all about trying to consolidate all iPhones into a single universal model that can be used with any carrier practically anywhere. adding a tv tuner would be complicated and go against apple’s current trend.

      • itguy08

        You do realize Cell phones all also operate in the UHF band? UHF is 300MHz to 1Ghz….

  • Mike Palomba

    I like having an FM chip in the phone. Wish my iPhone had it

  • That guy

    Every T-Mobile HTC phone I have owned in the past 4 years has had an active FM chip. (Mytouch4g, hd2, Sensation, Amaze, M7, M8, M9.) Kinda old news, maybe a little more research would add depth to this blog and give it more value than just a news aggregator.

    • Louie McAllister

      Snap!

    • john

      but they are useless since they require earphone so only you can listen to it. Outside the US, even a $5 basic phone has built in FM that can be played on its speaker

  • Marcus

    So this company is pushing for everyone to be able to use their crAPP, just so they can bombard everyone with their ads on top of the radio station ads that actually pay for the “free” radio stations. Do the radio stations get a piece of the ad revenue from the app or are they just riding the stations coat tails to profit off them.

  • 21stNow

    I applaud this move. Better late than never.

  • Marcus

    NextRadio is just trying to better position themselves to make deals with carriers to preload their crAPP. More carrier bloatware coming down the pipes.

  • Marcus

    Just a fm radio with no additional ads or other bs would be great. Ads are not sent over fm, they are sent over data. Album art is not sent over fm, it’s sent over data. Just put a basic radio tuner on the phone if they are going to do it, something that doesn’t require any data what so ever (not even to preload advertisements). That is what people want, just a simple radio tuner. That is not what you are going to get.

    • SirStephenH

      You didn’t read the article, did you?

      “As I mentioned before, using an FM chip to listen to radio on your phone doesn’t consume data like it does when you use an app like TuneIn Radio. NextRadio does note that it uses your data to retrieve “images and interactive content” with radio broadcasts, but that that uses less than 10 percent of the data that streaming radio does. NextRadio does have a Tuner Only Mode if you’d prefer to not use any data at all.”

    • RLB63

      Have you used hd radio? My car has it. It’s not attached to the internet. If the stations chooses it can not only broadcast artist, song title.and even album art.

    • charlieboy808

      Ummm… It’s called RDS. It’s a sub carrier signal that is sub audible and is sent with the FM signal to your car. Congratulations on having a car that carries technology that’s almost 15 years old now.

  • SirStephenH

    I’d rather have an IR blaster or a HDTV tuner but I might use a FM tuner IF it’s HD. I already use Google Music so I would likely only use it for Seahawks and Mariners games, etc.

    • BOlieve in AJ’s EMMAlution

      My HTC One already has all of that, except the hd radio. But I’m always listening to podcasts anyways, so no need for HD radio.

      • Enrique Escobar

        your HTC one has and HDTV tuner?? really?

        • BOlieve in AJ’s EMMAlution

          Sure.

    • RLB63

      Never understood the ir push on phones. Had a phone with it. Multiple negatives.
      1) a lot of them aren’t fully functional remotes. Usually missing features I use.
      2) battery drain. A remote uses much less power.
      3) if you are using it for something else you have stop and switch to the remote app.
      4) not convenient. Unless you leave so open. If not you have to open phone, then unlock it.
      5) not right shape for most remotes. So features are on multiple different screens.

      I have only used it as a parlour trick. Occasionally to mess with people’s tv’s. Only works once though. IF they don’t know phones can do that. Works great on kids.

    • pug_ster

      I doubt that HDTV tuner would work because you really need a line of sight to get an HDTV signal and it doesn’t go thru walls wells whereas fm signal works thru walls.

  • ianken

    With unlimited data and “music freedom”… um….yay?

    • Phone Guy

      There are many times when the data is too weak. Like in my mountain cabin which is over a hill, there is no data. So I can still go for a walk and listen to the news. Great idea to re enable these radios.

  • jj201367

    awesome i can’t wait to try it out

  • Angel

    Huh? Every phone I’ve had has FM Radio. That you need to plug the headset to work as antenna. Even the temporary crappy PRISM had it. So yeah, don’t understand whats the big deal…. unless latest phones are dropping it, like removable batteries. >.>
    Actually, all my entire household have phones with FM, including the latest, a Lumia 640.
    Now, TV tuner would be different, since many phones have this in Asia but their US version don’t.

    • 21stNow

      The Samsung phones and iPhones don’t have FM tuners. Since those are some of the more popular phones on T-Mobile, this is still a big deal.

  • Sam

    WHY, tmobile gives free music streaming, why have it added to my phone? So i can pay more for crap i dont have use for… Ever heard of the phrase K.I.S.S. = keep it simple…
    Att was first to push this because they were loosing customers due to tmobles FREE music streaming..
    Just think its useless.

    • Starcube

      It’s already part of the phone, just disabled on US versions. This petition is to have it enabled. You should do five seconds of research instead of posting a knee-jerk reaction post that makes you look like a total dumbass.

    • Phone Guy

      No, its not useless. It will stop the drain of data. In case you didn’t know, data is not free. Every bit of data you use, while free to you, costs the carrier tons of $$. They are just pushing some data useage off the network like wifi calling. Very smart. You comment makes you look like a dumb ass. Nothing is free in this world.

    • charlieboy808

      Let me tell you why. Everyone keeps talking about data this, and data that. I work in Radio and we’ve been pushing for this way more than a reason of data. You have in your hands a device that can not only save your life with a phone call but also has the ability to tune into local radio stations that can provide you with information in case of emergency. Think of it like Insurance, no one wants to pay for it but you also don’t want to be that guy who doesn’t have it when something you thought would never happen, happens.

      • makapav

        This is the most relevant response. Every smartphone already has an FM radio receiver but they are disabled for greed. This should have been illegal by FCC for the safety reasons alone. Hell, I would go so far as to say that it should have been mandatory for all phones to allow access to the FM radio even without every booting into the full OS, so just by turning ON the phone in the lowest power mode.

        Explained very well by the Free Radio on My Phone campaign: http://goo.gl/HW1xg5

        PS This is also why we need regulation because (most) private companies don’t ever play for the common good without a vice on their nuts.

        • obloodyhell

          }}} PS This is also why we need regulation because (most) private companies don’t ever play for the common good without a vice on their nuts.

          Not even close to true. Public acclaim can EASILY change a company’s approach to things. In fact, government action generally LIMITS it, because if they aren’t REQUIRED to do it, they often won’t. So it’s better if there’s no orders on it — the requirements often constrain free-market approaches.

          This is exemplified by the fact that T-Mobile supposedly is encouraging their providers to enable it. It’s no real skin off their noses, either way.

          The main constraint here is that most people don’t even know it’s POSSIBLE, and so they aren’t ASKING for it. If those who know worked to increase public awareness, then there’d be more interest in doing it.

          As to a “non-evil” reason for “why not”? It seems obvious: if it IS supposed to be enabled, AND a phone has a defect that prevents it, then they have to SUPPORT that.

          If it’s a feature that people DON’T ASK FOR AND DON’T EVEN KNOW THEY COULD HAVE, then it’s in the makers/provider’s interest to NOT enable it right there.

          Ergo — it’s a liability to enable it either way. If there’s no expectations on the part of users that it be enabled, then they are taking on a liability for no benefit.

    • skywalkr2

      Radio is not only about music. So much narcissism in these comments.

  • Abhi

    Looking at that NextRadio symbol in the title, I hope they don’t do what Sprint does where they remove the default radio app like in the LG G2 and replace it with that ad spewing NextRadio.

  • wsj

    Right, I am sure Apple will have it in their next release. I mean why pay for Apple Radio when you can listen for free!

  • charlieboy808

    This one goes out to all the naysayers.

    To all the people who don’t get it, let me put it to you from someone who is working in Radio as an IT Administrator/Engineer(ish). You have in your pocket (if it is installed) an FM Chip in your phone. It has the capability of tuning into local radio stations. Local radio stations are a public service. We are required by law to be of public service. What does that mean? Basically, when the proverbial “shit” hits the fan, we are there to give you information you might need to help you to safety. Monthly we at our station group run the “Emergency Broadcast System” test. We make sure that it goes out across all of our radio stations. Also, because we are considered a “P1” we also need to make sure that it goes out to other radio station groups who are listening for our alerts to then be broadcast out on their stations if needed. Not only that, our signal goes to TV as well so that Charter Communications can alert their viewers in case of emergency.

    With that now out of the way, here’s another thing to think about. No one said you had to use it. In fact most of you won’t because it wasn’t there to begin with. Now consider for a moment the insurance on a car, a home, or whatever it is you need insurance on. You don’t want to pay for it and the damn thing is expensive. So, why are you paying for it? Well when something happens, do you want to be that guy who doesn’t have insurance and is shit out of luck? The same thing can happen with the FM Chip.

  • Johnnola504

    Had this feature in my HTC Evo, didn’t use it as I don’t often use headphones.

  • RLB63

    It must be more complicated, but I would like to see am radio included as well. AM signals travel father than fm. So if out of data coverage you might also be out of fm reception as well. At night they boost am signals and you can get them from multiple states away.

    • skywalkr2

      Not sure, but it might have to do with antennae. I think you cannot pick up AM well with an internal antenna.

  • Dill

    Enable it on the note 3

  • I run my own radio station and my station is a partner on TuneIn. I object to the FM tuner. FM radio is dead! #SiriusXM is much better

    • Man Up Dude

      *IF* FM Radio was truly dead, then you wouldnt be able to find a live station broadcasting anywhere and the FCC would be chomping at the bit to re-allocate the FM bands to another purpose… but you can go to any populated area, turn on a radio and find MANY radio stations that are all on the air. Most radio Stations are a for profit business and without at listeners they would all quickly cease to exist. So your statement is not only misleading… it is self-serving. I’ll tell ya though, You can object to it all you want since you obviously cant handle the competition with a real professional broadcaster in your area. Good luck.

      • itguy08

        You mean real professional hack. Those professional broadcasters are the ones that are recorded and not local, play the same junk over and over, and talk over your songs?

        You can have them. Can’t stand listening to the junk that passes for “radio” any more.

        • Dumb People Breed :(

          Yeah, because lisenting to MP3’s off a server in a closet somewhere is so much a better option every time…. smh

        • itguy08

          Yeah it is. Cause I don’t need some hack opening his flapper telling me some nonsense. Just play good music.

    • francob911 .

      Lol its not dead ! Have you heard of HD Radio it makes each fm radio station have like 2 to 4 other channels plus it tell you what song its playing like sirius xm and best of all its free

      • itguy08

        I get the artists/titles on my non-HD unit in my car.

        • francob911 .

          Me too

    • skywalkr2

      SiriusXM has pathetic sound quality and is expensive.

  • Jay Holm

    This should have happened a long, long time ago!!!

  • Mike Thaler

    I wouldn’t use it. Only time I use FM radio the last several years is in a car. On a longish trip, listen to Pandora. If you traveling any distance from home, better off using something like TuneIn or Nobex if you want radio. You won’t lose the station.
    Wat many phones are still missing is wireless charging. No excuse for that. My 10 y.o. BB had a form of it.

  • itguy08

    Does anyone actually listen to the FM garbage anymore?

    • RLB63

      Tons of people. DJ’s still get tons of money. Some make probably way more than you do if in a big market.

    • skywalkr2

      There is more to FM than music… so yes.

  • juan

    This is a step toward giving more options to our customers at no cost to Tmo. I think its a great idea! I see this as another smart move to show how we are keeping with trends and the up rise of customers seeking more features from their devices.

  • john

    We are being scammed by whoever they are, maybe the carriers over this FM radio on phones. I love having it on my phone and I don’t like it that you have to use an earpiece or headphone to listen to any built in FM radios on very very few phones in US.

    5 YRS ago, I went to Nepal was near a village. I heared a loud music, local and western pop songs being played by one of the person there. I checked to see what it is and it was just a basic cheap phone with samsung logo and it not only had built in FM radio, it could play those FM radio via the phone;s speaker and without the need of ear piece.

    • Melissa Cardenas

      agree phones in mexico are the same they all have FM radios from cheap flip phones to High end phones yes some high end Sony and Samsung phones have fm radios and some you dont need to connect headphones to listen to the stations. Idk why in the US they dont do that and the few phones we get with Fm radio we HAVE to use headphones to listen to the stations.

    • Dustin Roe

      The frequency of the FM signal means the size of the waveform is larger than the phone the be able to capture a weaker signal the headphone wire is used to create a longer antenna. AM is lower frequency yet and why no one provides AM radio. The signal you saw overseas was obviously close and strong and did not need an antenna to receive it. The same would be true in the US.

      On a side note if they want to specify something we all would enjoy having on every phone how about a good ir transmitter for controlling all our electronics in the house.

  • This is a great step. Even if you never use the chip, it is good to know that it is there in case of an emergency such a a storm. Radio played a vital role during hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. The naysayers have a chip (no pun intended) on their shoulder about radio in general, and never listened anyway. The response has been incredible, and I applaud T-Mobile for taking this step and consideration.

  • Tinger12

    I do see the benefit in some small, infrequent situations, but why should we resort to 35 minutes of the same music on every station along with 25 minutes of commercials? Isn’t that the real big issue with Commercial FM radio? There are very few stations that are not annoying as hell with all their commercials and promos.

    I’ll take my streaming options with the wide diversity of choices, most commercial free. And on Tmobile, many are now data free.

    • millenialkid

      Call it what it is. It’s an option. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have one more option than one less option.

      Besides, listening to local radio tells you when bands will be playing in your city or town. And yes, there are local ads, weather, traffic and news, but it’s better.

    • CAL_08

      This will work best in emergency situations like a hurricane, tornado, or earthquake, which is a very real situation in many parts of the country. You could easily lose power or service in any one of these instances. Radio waves can cover great distances and offer valuable information to those with access. While radios aren’t hard to come by, everyone having access on their phone could be very valuable in such a situation.

    • FijiSun

      I enjoy using both. In Albuquerque we have a ton of stations per capita and I enjoy listening to FM. But I also enjoy using streaming apps. Its nice to have a choice. I also have T-mobile but have the 45 dollar plan for 2 GB data.. no free streaming. I bought my LG G4 (international unlocked version) that comes with the FM chip enabled and has the LG FM app installed (only 4 mb in size and has an uninstaller. The app itself is brilliant and easy to use with presets so its very easy to flip channels at a instant.. Can’t flip like that with streaming content.. and iheart also has commercials and if you change stations it oftentimes starts another commercial plus it has to buffer etc.. With FM it’s instant. Plus the quality of the FM on the G4 is stupid good. Especially with the included LG beats earphones (only on unlocked versions). Plus when LG releases Android M I will get it immediately. Who knows how long the carriers will take to mess up the update. And with Verizon, some may never get M. I really don’t understand why people buy carrier phones. Unlocked is so much better.

      No what’s really stupid is walking around with a t-mobile branded G4 with an embedded FM chip that is disabled.

  • Sorin Lazarescu

    Yay more bloat ware on my phone from tmo.

    • skywalkr2

      How is a feature now considered bloatware? GTFO.

      • Sorin Lazarescu

        Because you will need software to go along with the hardware. GTFO!

        • Frankenstu

          Your camera requires software to use. It that bloatware?
          Your Wi-Fi Connection requires software. Is that Bloatware?
          ALL Hardware requires software to interact with phone. Must all be bloatware. BFD!

        • Sorin Lazarescu

          It isn’t bloat ware if I use it. I wont use the radio therefore the radio software is bloatware.

        • FijiSun

          Many people do use it. I do on my G4. The problem is many phones already have the FM chip already embedded in their phones only to have their carrier disable it. To me that is the very definition of bloatware when a carrier screws with the oem software. In fact the T-mobile version of the G4 is plagued with issues with the wifi calling which is carrier software. Also, I notice my LG FM app is a whopping 4 MB in file size and includes an uninstaller. If the app cannot be uninstalled then it may be considered bloat. But at 4MB’s its a stretch. I’ve got 32 GB internal with a 128 GB SD card and its upgradable up to two terabytes. Maybe if I owned a iPhone with a pathetic 16GB at 650 dollars I’d be worrying about a few MB’s. In the case of the G4 that has the hardware already installed your argument is weak. To be walking around with a phone with disabled hardware is stupid.

  • millenialkid

    This is something of a let down. AT&T had already announced FM radio as part of it’s Smartphone Specification Document for 2016. In that document are a list of requirements that help define what AT&T considers a smartphone.

    Legere is riding the coattails of AT&T again.

    • N33D2Kn0W

      They approached T-Mobile, not the other way around. Now, had you pass Reading Comprehension in Primary School, you would have seen that.

    • Mike

      Well gtfo here and go to AT&T who is NSA best friend .

    • gmo8492

      Funny because both At&t and Verizon are trying to change the way they handle subsidize plans all because of T-Mobile

  • Mike

    Ppl need to stop complaining about who still uses FM radio if you don’t listen to don’t use it then. I work for GM and inside the plant cell phone reception is iffy and FM radio will be a great option for me while I’m on the assembly line.

  • Mike

    The Sony phone has “the FM chip”, I assume the same thing Legere is taking about, as I listen to FM radio on it commuting on the ferry. It is one of the things I was thankful for when I got it.

  • gmo8492

    Wow some of the people here are a bunch of cry babies. If you don’t use it, fine it’s there just in case, it does not negatively effect the phone in anyway and it’s not bloatware. What some of you don’t realize is that CPUs in most smartphones have some of the components to support FM radio, but they either lack part hardware or software to fully support it.

  • Kyle Thompson

    at last we are moving closer to the AM radio chip! next up, a mod to allow your phone to play an 8-track.

  • Avoid the Noid,Trollfest Alert

    If I can avoid getting bitten by one of the many Trolls on this thread…. this many people couldnt possibly ALL have been dropped on their heads as babies, no?!? The retardation and ignorant comments have run amok…..

    I just would like to know when we can expect any updates on how we will be able to unlock the FM chip on existing phones that have it and are locked out.

  • conservative_motorcyclist

    FM Radio is nice, but I would much prefer HD Radio support instead :)

    • skywalkr2

      That would be awesome.

  • DetroitTechnoFan

    I loved the option to use the FM radio on my HTC MyTouch 4G. A very nice thing to have around for when you just can’t connect. I was up north a week ago and had to deal with the data roaming fiasco that leaves you with only 50 MB of data. I can use that up in one swallow. An FM radio would have helped!

    • john

      USELESS SINCE IT REQUIRES HEADPHONE. All phones including $5 cheap basic phones sold outside the US has built in FM radio that doesn’t need an earpiece as antenna to listen to

  • Caitlin Bestler

    The killer app for over-the-air reception is actually local news, not music.
    HD-Radio in theory would let you pick between 2 or 3 tracks while listening, which would be fantastic for listening to your local PBS station or an all news channel. Three tracks of broadcast pop music still doesn’t produce any interesting content, so music is probably not the app to drive this.
    The gotcha with HD-Radio is the risk of it going belly up. That isn’t a risk with FM radio.

  • sonyuser

    now if only the app would recognize that sony leaves them on… including the one that t-mobile sold me…

  • john

    should have built in FM that doesn’t require earpiece as Antenna.

  • Keys Man 70

    Yes, I would be a able to listen to the Miami Dolphins play on 105.9 FM, Streaming radio would not allow this.

  • Jimmy James

    Sometimes I go for a walk and want to listen to the local football or baseball game. Yes, I know T-Mobile offers free MLB radio streaming on the app, but FM is much simpler. There is no way to stream live NFL, NHL, NBA, MLS, NASCAR, Formula One, without a cost. Also, streaming local news radio eats into your data. Some radio sites default to a higher bitrate, using more data.

  • karthics5

    I have used fm bulit into old nokias and even an android htc phone, good to find stations locally, i used it for yrs in england

  • InklingBooks

    Activating that built-in FM radio functionality would be handy in disaster situations where the cellular system in down or too distant to be useful. Even if cellular data is up, many people might find it hard to locate a local source of information online. It’d also help local NPR radio stations since many lose support when their listeners turn to podcasts rather than over-the air broadcasts.

    Gripping about having to use headphones to get reliable FM reception misses a major factor. To be effective, that antenna needs to be at least 30-inches long, a quarter wave length at FM frequencies.. Even if cell phones weren’t already crammed with antennas, there’s not enough room inside for that. Most headphone cables are about that length and get better reception than any internal antenna would.

    In my case, I’m amazed at all the things my iPhone does but disappointed that one easily added feature, an FM radio, isn’t included.

    • FijiSun

      iPhone will NEVER have FM. Apple loves to nickel and dime on their consumable products. It would take a federal law to reverse Apple’s decision to not include FM radio. Corporate lobbying will never allow that to happen. I can still remember Steve Jobs raving about the evils of including FM with the Ipod. Of course it was all about selling DRM 99 cent songs on iTunes at the time.

      Loving my LG G4 that breaks all the design philosophies of Apple. SD card up to 2 terabytes, replaceable battery and quick charge to boot. Also has FM chip that is enabled (international version unlocked) and has the LG tuner app already installed. Love this phone.

      Actually that is a very good point about having FM for disasters. Best excuse I’ve heard to have it on every smart phone.

      I still stream with my G4 but its also nice to have the FM.. Its nice having both.

  • FijiSun

    I bought the international H815 version of the LG G4. It has the FM tuner by default and it works really good. It also has the LG FM app already installed. Plus on the international version they include a really nice pair of LG beats earphones and the whole device cost only 400 dollars.

    This article is bogus. What is John Legere talking about? The FM chip on the G4 is DISABLED on T-mobile. The only carrier that has not disabled the chip is Sprint and there is no app installed. You have to download a third party app so most probably don’t even know they have the feature. Verizon, ATT, T-mobile have the FM chip disabled and there is no way to reverse that. In many instances the FM sounds better then the highly compressed stations on Iheartradio. I also have the 2GB plan on T-mobile for 45 dollars so I don’t get the free radio streaming on my phone. I usually only use 1 GB month on my plan and love the FM tuner on the G4. Especially with the H815 that includes the LG FM app.

    So what this means is John Legere wants people to pay 10 dollars a month more to upgrade to the plans that include the free streaming. What a hypocrite.

  • Shi Aino

    So T mobile blamed the OEMs and my fm is still locked down. If only I’d been able to wait to get the international phone I wanted. Annoyed by locked down G4

  • Chandler Russell

    I have an lg g stylo which apparently sprints version does have one but tmobiles doesnt… Why is that?

  • blindexecutioner

    Just bought a T-Mobile Galaxy note 5. Looks like they lied about enabling the FM radios in their phones as it doesn’t work but I know it does on the Sprint version.