What is ANT Radio Service (And Do I Need It)?

It’s not about music FM or AM radio at all! Here’s what your need to know about ANT Radio Service.

If you’ve ever come across a process called ANT Radio Service on you Android device you may be wondering just what it is. After all, you may think, “I don’t listen to the radio. Do I need this?”

Here’s the thing: ANT Radio Service has NOTHING to do with AM or FM radio at all. You do not use ANT Radio Service to tune into radio services on your Android device. But again, based on the name, you can be forgiven for assuming this is what ANT Radio Service might be for.

In reality, ANT Radio Service is designed to enable connections between your Android phone and internet of things (IOT) devices. Here’s what you need to know.

ANT Radio Service: It’s Not About FM Radio At All

What ANT Radio Service is is kind of alluded to in the name itself – and “Radio” portion. But here radio does not mean AM and FM radio stations. Instead radio means a wireless radio signal. Wireless radio signals power more than just AM and FM stations. They also allow for the transmission of data.

And that transmission of data is exactly what ANT Radio Service is for. You see, ANT Radio Service is basically just another wireless protocol for your smartphone and connected Internet of Things devices. In this way, it’s not much different than NFC, Bluetooth, or Wi-Fi. But ANT Radio Service, generally, is mainly used for the connection of one type of Internet of Things device: sport and fitness devices.

These are devices like fitness trackers, smart watches, and heart rate monitors. ANT Radio Service is what allows these devices to talk to and share data back and forth between themselves and your Android smartphone.

There are TONS of devices that require an ANT connection, and you can see them all here.

ANT Radio Service: How Do I Get It?


ANT Radio Service is most likely pre-installed on your Android device. However, if it’s not, you’ll likely be prompted to install it if you connect a device that requires ANT Radio Service.

Alternately, if that device has an app, it may include an ANT Radio Service installer itself, in which case you won’t need to install ANT Radio Service separately.

And of course, you can install ANT Radio Service directly onto your phone (even if you don’t need it) by downloading it from the Google Play Store.

ANT Radio Service: Do I Need It?

You only need ANT Radio Service if the device you are connecting to your Android phone requires it. If not, you do not need to have ANT Radio Service on your smartphone.

ANT Radio Service: Can I Delete It?


If you’re wondering if you can safely delete ANT Radio Service, the answer is YES. However, if you do delete ANT Radio Service, any connected devices that require it will not talk to your smartphone any longer. 

But don’t worry, if that happens, you can simple download ANT Radio Service again.

ANT Radio Service: What Else Should I Know?

That’s about it! But if you want to dive into the more technical details about ANT Radio Service, you should check out the official website here. And in case you are wondering, this is their official description of ANT Radio Service:

“ANT Radio Service is a system service that was pre-installed by your device manufacturer or added as part of an Android update by your carrier and smartphone manufacturer* to allow the built-in ANT communication hardware already present in your mobile device to operate. It is similar to the system components that enable other forms of wireless connectivity on your phone (ie. WiFi, NFC) and will not run or use system resources unless you start an app that requires ANT wireless communication.

“This system service, along with the ANT+ Plugins, enables other apps of your choice to communicate with ANT+ compatible products (system services cannot be deleted or launched directly). These other apps allow you do things like collect, transfer, and view your sport, health, and fitness data in real time on your mobile device. Please note: the compatible products that may be used with your mobile device will depend on the third party Android app you select.”

And check out how to use Google’s Nearby Share!

Michael Grothaus

Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.

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