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Sprint, to offer Net services

The third-largest U.S. long distance company and the streaming media company will provide audio and visual services for businesses over the Internet beginning next month.

WESTWOOD, Kansas--Sprint said it will provide audio and visual services for businesses over the Internet with beginning next month.

Sprint's Internet Collaboration Center will allow businesses to conduct sales meetings, corporate events, product announcements, and training sessions on the Web. Participants will be able to view proceedings live or download saved files when it's convenient, Sprint said.

Streaming audio and video technology enables viewers to see and hear Web-based broadcasts in real time, in a manner similar to television broadcasts. Accessing meetings through the Internet eliminates the long distance charges companies incur when holding conference calls, Sprint said.

"Sprint streaming allows businesses to cost effectively extend their communications to large audiences, such as customers, employees, or investors," said Frank Sobyak, group marketing manager for collaboration services for Sprint Business.

The service will cost 7 cents to 56 cents a minute per user for live presentations and 2 cents to 23 cents a minute for saved presentations, plus an initial connection fee, Sprint said. Fees will vary depending on the broadcast speeds the customers want, the number of players to be used, and the number of locations receiving the broadcast.

Customers will be able to use Sprint's videoconferencing facilities if they don't have their own. And they'll be able to load slide presentations for broadcast onto Sprint's Web site themselves, without special software, the company said.

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