CTIA sends plea to FCC to avoid FM on cell mandate


A group of consumer electronics manufacturers signed on to a letter from CTIA saying that if consumers want FM service from their cell phone they’ll get it. However, they don’t want to provide it just because the FCC might want it.

The group urged the FCC to maintain the “light regulatory touch” if has embraced thus far when dealing with this issue.

They said the industry is already doing everything it can to provide a wide variety of products with a wide variety of features from which consumers may choose.

The letter goes on, “At the same time, every determination of the features and components for manufacturers and carriers to include in each device involves challenging tradeoffs. Issues such as battery life, integration issues, the presence of numerous antennas (perhaps as many as nine or more) and components for other cutting-edge capabilities all compete for extremely limited “real estate” within sleek, carefully designed devices that attract and excite wireless users. The notion of government intervention in this extremely complex and intricate development and engineering process would dangerously impact this thriving ecosystem and undoubtedly have a detrimental impact.”

Its bottom line contention is that demand for FM service from cells phones has been “underwhelming.”

Companies signing the letter along with CTIA include Apple, HTC America, Motorola, Nokia, Personal Communications Devices, Research in Motion and Samsung.

RBR-TVBR observation: Did consumers want seat belts in their cars? I can answer that one – NO! We got them anyway, but for years, many of us refused to use them. Too restrictive, we said, for us freedom-loving classic American style individualists!
But the obvious safety benefits outweighed our natural resistance, and now we wouldn’t think of driving without them.

Did consumers want actual talking in movies? It is a little known fact that Hollywood waited for years to introduce Talkies – it had the technology long before it believed the public was ready to abandon the subtle (or in the case of the Keystone Kops, not so subtle) charms of silent films.

The point is that consumers don’t always know what they want. The fact that cell manufacturers are essentially hiding FM capability on a handful of models with no marketing whatsoever is why consumers aren’t learning to embrace the concept.
And man, won’t consumers love their radio-equipped cell phone the next time they need information during an emergency.