Communications Minister Fábio Faria said that cellphones made in Brazil will be required to rely on FM radio. The statement came from a speech by the minister at an event held last Friday (15), in Natal, and was reported by the website TeleSynthesis.
“We are making the radio on the cell phone. For each phone manufactured in Brazil, the radio comes for free without having to install it over WiFi or a data plan,” said Faria. This is not the first time that the minister has signaled that he will fight for the obligation – which, as Tecnoblog recalls, is not seen in a positive way by manufacturers.
In case of approval of a new legislation, the brands would have to relocate one of the stages of production and assembly of components to comply with Brazilian law or even fail to bring global models to local factories.
However, Faria has not yet detailed how this idea will be implemented and what measures will be taken in relation to manufacturers.
The dispute between associations and politicians for the activation of the FM signal in modern cell phones has been going on for some years. In 2017, a bill was presented to the Chamber of Deputies requesting the enabling of the FM radio function on all Brazilian smartphones. The idea is that the resource is native, that is, without requiring a mobile connection to the internet or contracting data plans.
One of Faria’s solutions is to request the project to proceed. PL 8438/2017, presented by Sandro Alex (PSD-PR), has been on the Chamber of Deputies’ Constitution and Justice and Citizenship Commission since the end of 2019. In the United States, similar pressure at the same time regarding models how the iPhone prompted brands to add native FM radio support the following year.
Abinee is against forced adoption, as that would be to hurt “the principle of free enterprise”
However, the dispute is big and still involves electronics manufacturers and industry associations. Abinee (Brazilian Association of the Electrical and Electronic Industry) is against forced adoption, as that would be to hurt “the principle of free enterprise”. In addition, measures like this could increase the price of handsets to the final consumer or, even worse, accentuate the already serious deindustrialization of Brazil “scaring” the last companies that still manufacture cell phones in the country.
Abert (Brazilian Association of Radio and TV Broadcasters) has been working for some years to approve the PL and maintains a list of models sold in Brazil that have or not the FM signal activated, which includes several intermediate and input models, in addition to of some top of the line.