updated 1/25/2005 9:51:36 PM ET 2005-01-26T02:51:36

Ford Motor Co., the world's second-largest auto maker, said Monday it will replace office phones for more than 8,000 employees with Sprint Corp. wireless devices that will use the "walkie talkie"-style Sprint PCS Ready Link service.

Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Ford's product development unit will be among the first to transition to the new wireless services.

The company said Sprint PCS Ready Link is a nationwide wireless service that gives customers a way to communicate one-on-one or to groups of people at the push of a button.

Administratively, Ford can now manage a company directory, update account information and group lists, and push changes to the phones of employees via a Web-based administration portal.

Sprint shares fell 19 cents to $22.82 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange, and Ford shares rose 3 cents to $13.14.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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