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Sprint wireless unit makes northern call

Wireless carrier Sprint PCS teams up with Canada's largest carrier, Bell Mobility, in a push to offer new wireless services for businesses.

Sprint PCS and Canada's largest wireless carrier are co-developing new wireless services, including enhanced applications for businesses, the Canadian carrier said Thursday.

Like most major wireless carriers, Sprint PCS and Canada's Bell Mobility have built new cell phone networks to keep up with demand for wireless services. Both companies are selling the services in an effort to recoup network construction costs.

While Sprint PCS offers some applications for businesses, its new wireless products are mostly games, ring tones or other consumer-friendly items, said Don Blair, a representative for Bell Canada, which owns Bell Mobility.

Bell Mobility's strength, on the other hand, is in selling wireless services to businesses, a more lucrative customer segment that has more sophisticated needs such as using wireless devices to read PDFs (portable document formats) on the fly, he said.

The two carriers share the same type of network, which lets consumers download Web pages wirelessly at speeds between 40kbps and 60kbps. Both companies use a version of Qualcomm's CDMA (code division multiple access) technology.

Blair wouldn't release additional details about the applications being developed. Sprint PCS representative Jennie Walsh also did not comment on the new applications.

Competition among carriers to sell new services to business customers is increasing.

Earlier this month, Verizon Wireless introduced a new set of plans for businesses called "Enterprise Advance." In October, AT&T Wireless and Microsoft unveiled Workware, a suite of software and services designed to give corporate workers wireless access to e-mail and data that reside behind corporate firewalls.