Sprint Nextel, the No. 3 U.S. mobile service, is in talks to put applications from Web search leader Google on its cell phones, a person familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
Google is in talks with some of the largest U.S. wireless carriers to make a deeper move into the mobile industry, an area it views as key to future growth.
While the company has not commented on its plans or potential partners, industry experts believe it will soon launch new software and services for mobile phones.
On Tuesday, Reuters reported that No. 2 U.S. mobile service Verizon Wireless is also in talks with Google about putting applications on its mobile phones.
Sprint had already said in August it would offer Google Web search and communications services to customers using a new network it is building based on WiMax, an emerging high-speed wireless technology.
Google has said that mobile Web surfing would be important to its business as consumers move beyond desktop computers.
The company has also shown interest in an upcoming government wireless auction, and pushed regulators to introduce rules that give mobile operators less control over the devices and data applications their customers can use.