A mobile phone with radio is a device that can be used to transmit and receive audio over the mobile cellular network. The cellular radio enables the mobile phone to send and receive voice calls, text messages, and data.
In addition to the phone’s core function, its microprocessor handles housekeeping chores for the keyboard and display, communicates with the base station antenna via a radio signal, and manages commands and customization of its features. The ROM and Flash memory chips handle storage for the operating system, custom apps, and other user data. The RF and power section handles power management and battery charging, while the FM chip carries both transmit and receive circuitry that supports broadcasting over the hundreds of FM radio frequencies available on a typical mobile phone.
Stay Tuned Anywhere: The Best Mobile Phones Featuring Built-in FM Radio
When making a call on a cell phone, the first thing the phone does is search for its network cell. This is because, unlike traditional wireline telephones that connect to landlines through a copper line, mobile phones connect to the cell tower via radio waves. To find a cell, the mobile phone listens for an SID (Service Identity Divisor) on a control channel, which is a special frequency that both the base station and the phone use to talk to each other about things like call setup and changing frequencies.
While most mobile phones no longer come with FM capability, it’s still possible to activate it for free. You just need an app that can recognize a phone’s FM chip, such as NextRadio, and a wired pair of headphones or speakers to act as an antenna. NextRadio previously kept a list of supported devices and carriers, but it has since been removed from the App Store; you’ll need to check your device and carrier manually now.