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Sprint, T-Mobile jump as Google may use their network

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Sprint Corp. (S) and T-Mobile (TMUS) US Inc. rose after a report that Google Inc. (GOOGL) is preparing to sell mobile-phone service via the two carriers’ wireless networks.

Google is working on deals to buy access to Sprint’s and T-Mobile’s voice and data networks so that it can sell plans directly to consumers, The Information reported, citing people with knowledge of the plans. The deals would make Google a mobile virtual network operator, known as an MVNO.

Sprint jumped 5.5 percent to $4.39, the biggest gain since Sept. 12. T-Mobile rose 1.8 percent to $30.08, the highest closing price since Sept. 18.

Becoming an MVNO would require Google to manage hardware sales to consumers and compete with the carriers that sell and promote the company’s Android mobile-phone devices. A Google deal to become an MVNO could be a big overhaul for the U.S. wireless market. Sprint and T-Mobile are distant third- and fourth-place competitors to Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc.

Tracfone Wireless Inc., a U.S. unit of America Movil SAB, is one of the more successful MVNOs, selling service from all four major wireless carriers.

Already, Google has introduced broadband Internet service in a handful of U.S. cities, including Kansas City — and has said it’s looking to add more communities.

Representatives for Google, Sprint and T-Mobile declined to comment, as did representatives for Verizon and AT&T.

Google rose after the report, ending the day up 2.2 percent to $518.04

(Source: Bloomberg)