CTIA, others reject FM transmitter mandate

Tue, 08/24/2010 - 8:00am
Andrew Berg, Wireless Week

CTIA, along with five other major electronics and telecommunications organizations, yesterday signed a letter that categorically rejects calls for a mandate that would require OEMs to include an FM transmitter in all cell phones.

The letter cites concerns over an Aug. 6 release by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and several recent trade press reports suggesting that parties to the long-standing dispute over performance rights royalties may be working to forge a legislative compromise that would mandate the inclusion of FM radio chips in all mobile devices.

The letter, which was signed by the presidents and CEOs of CTIA, CES, Tech America, the Information Technology Industry Council, the Rural Cellular Association and the Telecommunications Industry Association, argues that it is wrong for two entrenched industries to resolve their differences by agreeing to burden the wireless industry, "which has no relationship to or other interest in the performance royalty dispute – with a costly, ill-considered and unnecessary new mandate."

Further, the letter rejects the mandate on grounds that it would drive up the cost of phones by forcing OEMs to include a component that some consumers may not want on their mobile devices, adding that requiring devices to carry an FM chip may limit other functionality that may be more highly valued by consumers.

CTIA and the other co-signers said that the dispute is not about safety. They wrote that the wireless industry is already working with the FCC, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other governmental stakeholders to develop a mobile broadcast emergency alerting system compatible with present and future wireless air interfaces that will allow for government-approved alerts.

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•  CTIA, others reject FM transmitter mandate

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