In its latest move, the Indian Government has issued an advisory that requires phone makers to make FM radio accessible by including the functionality in smartphones. Many OEMs over the past few years have completely removed the functionality in India. However, this is set to change very soon. Continue reading below to know more.
FM Radios Are Making A Comeback!
According to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), smartphone manufacturers cannot disable FM Radio from their smartphones. Those manufacturers who have completely removed the facility will have to bring it back on a priority basis. The only devices that still come with built-in FM Radio support are the feature phones specifically from Nokia.
Last year the Indian Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) in its Digital Radio Report emphasized the importance of Radio communication and transmission in India and how the country is lagging behind in adopting a robust digital radio infrastructure. As a free-to-air medium, ICEA wants the widespread adoption of this mechanism via compatible products (smartphones) to “boost the radio segment in India by 3X over 5 years.“
Keeping the report in mind, in an advisory issued to the ICEA and the Manufacturers’ Association for Information Technology (MAIT), the IT ministry said, “It should be ensured that wherever the mobile phone is equipped with an inbuilt FM Radio receiver function or feature, that function or feature is not disabled or deactivated but is kept enabled/activated in the mobile phone. Further, it is advised that if the FM Radio receiver function or feature is not available in the mobile phones, it may be included.”
With this directive, the Indian Government wants to bridge the gap between information and accessibility. As per the Government, radio communication is one of the fastest and most reliable methods of communicating information in the case of calamities or an emergency. The rural section of the Country relies on free FM Radio services to stay up-to-date on the latest information and Government directives. Moreover, FM Radio even serves as a mode of entertainment for the people.
So, it is understandable why MeitY wants to make FM Radio mandatory on smartphones. A final word isn’t out yet and we will have to see when and how this gets implemented. What do you think of this Government initiative? Do you think you will benefit from this inclusion? Do let us know in the comments down below.