Written by: Nick Houser
Date: July 16, 2014

Free Radio On My Phone graphic

FM chips in cell phones can be used to listen to radio. Graphic: freeradioonmyphone.org.

Free over-the-air radio, as well as up-to-the-minute public safety and weather information, could be accessible through your smartphone’s FM chip.

Two of WOSU Public Media’s partners, NPR and American Public Media, are working with other broadcasters to have FM chips activated in current cell phones.

One advantage of the feature is FM radio doesn’t require an internet connection and won’t drain your phone’s battery, according to freeradioonmyphone.org, the organization spearheading the initiative.

The technology already exists in most mobile phones that are currently in use. To date, only Sprint has enabled FM chips, while the other major carriers – AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile – have refused to activate the chip.

For more information and to encourage your cell phone carrier to activate FM chips, visit freeradioonmyphone.org.