Mobile phone carrier Sprint has announced plans to provide its users with the possibility to listen to their local FM radio stations while on the go on their Android and Windows Phone devices.
The carrier’s customers will receive access to a wide range of radio companies and aggregators, but only on select devices.
The deal, which will stretch over the next three years, includes access to FM radio through the NextRadio tuner application, as well as via other radio apps or services.
With this announcement, Sprint becomes the first carrier in the United States to provide users with the possibility to access FM radio stations on their handsets.
The NextRadio tuner should become available later this year, with support for various interactive listener features that are not available at the moment.
“We look forward to bringing Sprint customers another entertainment choice through NextRadio,” Fared Adib, senior vice president, product development and operations at Sprint, said.
“This new, easy-to-use service adds another dimension to the versatility of our wide array of smartphones and will deliver a new avenue for thousands of local radio stations across the country to reach our customers.”
For the time being, however, Sprint did not offer specific info on which particular Android and Windows Phone devices will benefit from the move, but more will be provided at a later date.
Gordon Smith, president of the National Association of Broadcasters, commented on the announcement saying that the new deal is a business-to-business partnership meant to recognize “the unique strengths of the wireless networks and the radio industry.”
Bob Pittman, CEO of Clear Channel, added, “This is a great development for the radio industry, one which will help us bring the content and services that only radio can provide to the wireless system. It's an important benefit for consumers across America, and we are pleased to participate in this effort.”