Google has signed a deal with Sprint Nextel Corp. to build services to run on Sprint's planned WiMAX high-speed wireless network, media reported Friday.
The two companies said on Thursday that Google will provide its Internet search service for a Web portal that Sprint is developing for the new WiMAX network. The gateway to various Web services will be ready in April 2008.
"This seems to be a bigger deal than what (Google's) done in the past, more comprehensive," said Pacific Crest analyst Steve Weinstein, who expects wireless services to be a "very material driver" for Google by late 2008 and early 2009.
The Sprint is expected to boost Web access over the new WiMAX network and expand use of Google's search and communications services on mobile devices.
Sprint said it would combine technology for detecting user location with Google tools including e-mail and chat.
Google has said wireless is key to growth and its strategy of selling Internet advertising.
While Google is the world's leading provider of Web search and has agreements with large mobile providers in Asia and Europe, analysts say it has lagged Yahoo Inc. in the U.S. wireless market.