David Rehr praises Verizon, AT&T on FM-capable phones


NAB CEO David Rehr sent letters to the chief execs of Verizon Wireless and AT&T applauding the mobile phone service providers on their recent inclusion of FM radio-capable handset devices. Verizon Wireless recently added the Samsung Omnia to its list of supported mobile handsets. AT&T has added the LG Incite. Both devices include FM radio as one of their features.

“Providing FM broadcast reception capability in mobile handsets creates multiple benefits for broadcasters, mobile network providers and consumers alike,” wrote Rehr.

Read Rehr’s letter to Ralph de la Vega, chief executive officer, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets (PDF format).

Read Rehr’s letter to Lowell McAdam, president and CEO, Verizon Wireless (PDF format).

A 2008 NAB FASTROAD report outlines the potential benefits that could result from an increase in the penetration of FM radio receivers in mobile phone handsets. The study concluded that mobile phone service providers, radio broadcasters, and handset manufacturers all stand to benefit from the expansion of FM-capable mobile phones, a platform that could reach 257 million American subscribers.

The full text can be seen at www.NABFASTROAD.org.

RBR/TVBR observation: Perhaps the key benefit for mobile handset users is instant access to emergency information that is often available from no source other than local broadcast. For broadcasters, it’s important to remain as ubiquitous as possible.