Nowadays you can stream plenty of network TV on your phone, but what if you want to catch a live local newscast? MetroPCS plans to include mobile ATSC TV tuners capable of pulling down live local programming in select upcoming devices, making it the first US carrier to announce such functionality. The development comes as a result of a partnership with the Mobile Content Venture and is based around MCV's Dyle Mobile TV platform, announced last July. Featured devices — the first of which is slated to be an unspecified Samsung Android handset due this year — will include a preloaded application allowing users to tune into a broad range of live content over the air, similar to how TVs receive OTA programming via antennas.

It's a far simpler approach to mobile TV than the poorly-received prior attempts from AT&T and Verizon which charged a premium to access the now-defunct Qualcomm MediaFLO service and its limited selection. With apps like Hulu and Netflix offering little in this regard, it could prove appealing to MetroPCS customers. Best of all? Since everything is received over the air — independent of any cellular data usage — this feature should come at no extra cost to the viewing audience. Look for it to be shown off at CES next week.