Sprint in partnership with Google will start selling Google Apps and round-the-clock customer support to businesses that are looking to hand off their technology management tasks to outside service providers.

Sprint is aiming the service at mid-sized businesses starting Aug. 18. In addition to Google's roster of business apps including Google Docs, Google Drive and Google Vault, Sprint will sell mobile service, phones and provide information technology support, the company said in a statement today.

Sprint has been struggling as the third-largest U.S. wireless carrier. The Overland Park, Kansas-based company lost 2.2 million contract subscribers last year as larger peers AT&T and Verizon Communications sell faster service in more areas. Sprint also is losing customers to smaller T-Mobile US due to phone-financing plans and contract buyout offers.

"This move makes sense for Sprint," said Roger Entner, an analyst with Recon Analytics. "A small-business owner wants mobile, e-mail and tech support, so why not sell them together. It takes away the need for an entire IT backroom, and lowers their expenses," Entner said.



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