MetroPCS increases WiFi hotspot support for Android phones

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MetroPCS (NASDAQ:PCS) expanded the WiFi capabilities of its two smartphones running Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform by adding software that will automatically sniff out hundreds of thousands of WiFi hotspots. 

LG Optimus MThe flat-rate carrier is partnering with two companies--Devicescape and Boingo--to add the new features. The software will be pre-loaded on the operator's two Android phones, the LG Optimus M and the Huawei Ascend.

Devicescape will pre-load its client onto the devices, allowing them to access 500,000 WiFi hotspots for free. The background service will periodically check to see if the devices are in range of a hotspot, and then will automatically log customers onto the hotspot. The service should allow MetroPCS--which does not operate a 3G network--to more easily offload wireless traffic.

Additionally, Boingo said that its Boingo Mobile app will come pre-installed on MetroPCS' Android phones. The deal--which represents Boingo's first carrier pre-load agreement--will allow customers to latch onto 200,000 WiFi hotspots worldwide. The catch is that the service costs $7.95 per month. Earlier this month Boingo renewed and extended its WiFi roaming deal with T-Mobile USA.

For more:
- see this PC Magazine article
- see this VentureBeat article
- see this Boingo release

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