Government Advises Mobile Makers to Add FM Radio: A Lifeline in Emergencies

The Indian government has recently issued an advisory to mobile makers, urging them to include FM Radio features on smartphones. The move aims to benefit millions of people, particularly in rural areas, who rely on FM radio for real-time information during emergencies or natural disasters. The government has noticed a decline in smartphones with built-in FM radio receivers, affecting low-income consumers who can only afford FM radio-enabled phones. Moreover, this has inhibited the government’s ability to disseminate critical information during disasters.

International Telecommunication Union’s Recommendation

The IT Ministry notes that including FM radio in mobile phones is an efficient and cost-effective means of disseminating early warnings, alerts, and critical information during disasters. The International Telecommunication Union has recommended incorporating FM radio in mobile phones. Furthermore, FM-enabled phones may save lives, protect livelihoods, and prepare communities better to deal with disasters.

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Installation of Transmitters and Accessibility of FM Radio Services

To increase FM radio services’ accessibility across India, the government has announced the installation of 91 100W transmitters across 18 States and 2 Union Territories. This initiative aims to strengthen India’s existing radio network while making it more robust and capable of disseminating important emergency information quickly.

FM Radio’s Benefits

FM radio can serve more than entertainment; it can inform people of their rights and provide access to vital health information, banking facilities, job opportunities, education, and sports. It may even assist people in tracking down lost vehicles or reporting theft. FM radio is one of the oldest and most trusted means of spreading important news in crisis-prone regions.

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Challenges and Conclusion

Most smartphone users do not enable FM radio due to not understanding its importance and its importance during emergencies. Instead, they prefer streaming apps and other popular features like rear cameras that do not always work as intended during an emergency. It is time for all phone manufacturers to include FM radio in their handsets, even if this means cutting battery consumption slightly. Both sides would benefit long term. The government’s advisory encourages major phone makers to implement FM radio into their phones, especially for those in rural areas or crisis-prone regions.

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