Handsets sprout FM transmitters

Handsets sprout FM transmitters

Pump music straight to your car radio or home stereo

Manufacturers are beginning to pack FM transmitters into mobile phones to enable them to play wirelessly through car radios and home receivers.

The feature is included in Samsung’s flagship Soul handset, launched at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and in Sony Ericssons’s smart new W980 Walkman phone.

Broadcom is showing of a new single-chip module supporting Bluetooth, Wifi and FM radio but the FM is receive only – designed for the many handsets that now allow you to tune into your favourite stations.

Technical marketing manager Richard Ybarra said his company is working on enabling a future version to transmit as well.

The devices essentially pack the functionality of the standalone FM transmitters, made legal only a year ago in the UK, that plug into the audio socket of music players. You set the transmitter to a frequency not used in your area and tune your radio into it.