CTIA and Cell Providers Dispute Call for FM Receivers in Cell Phones

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Washington, DC - Jun 10, 2009 - The CTIA and most of the wireless service providers sent a letter to Senators Rockefeller and Hutchinson and Representatives Boucher and Stearns to dispute the effort of the National Association of Broadcasters to add FM radio chipsets in mobile devices.

A 2008 NAB Fastroad study concluded that mobile phone service providers, radio broadcasters and handset manufacturers all stand to benefit from FM-capable mobile phones. The CTIA says the NAB's push is in response to the Warning, Alert and Response Network Act (WARN Act) passed by Congress. That act would create a commercial mobile alert service.

The letter from the CTIA says broadcasting's push is not consistent with Congress' intent of the WARN Act, nor is it in the public's interest. The CTIA says that the plan to develop and implement a commercial mobile alert service "is working as scripted." The letter cites the yearlong study to determine the best methods of distributing emergency alert messages that, not surprisingly recommends a voluntary system from the wireless service providers and says that other systems, including that using an FM receiver chip, are "not technically feasible" or do not provide "reliable reception of alerts."

Read the CTIA letter.

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