Google announced an alliance with Sprint Nextel today. The search engine giant will offer a portal to users of Spring's WiMAX network:
As part of the agreement, Sprint's WiMAX users will be able to search the Internet with Google and use cobranded versions of Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Talk services. The companies will also work together with Sprint's location-detection technology to provide "location-assisted services," according to Sprint.
"This collaboration brings what will be the best mobile Internet network together with the leading Internet search company," Sprint's president of 4G Mobile Broadband Barry West said in a statement. "It allows us to capitalize on the powerful mobility and Internet trends, and create wireless services and applications that take advantage of each company's history of product development innovation"
The move marks the first time a wireless operator in the US has made a Google-branded product officially available. Google has, of course, made many previous forays into the world of wireless, which include a multitude of mobile applications, but the company's interests don't end there. Google recently indicated its interest in bidding on the 700MHz wireless spectrum, if the FCC is willing to agree to Google's proposed auction rules. If Google were to win the auction, it would put the search giant in the position to directly compete with Sprint, as well as other wireless broadband providers.