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MCI tries to one-up telcos

MCI will offer a one-stop package for Internet and phone services.

Hoping to one-up its telco competitors, MCI today announced a comprehensive one-stop package for phone services--from Internet access to long distance and cellular calling.

The service, called MCI One, will offer a basic package for $4.95 per month that will include 30 minutes of free long distance calls, five free hours on the Internet, email, voicemail, call waiting, and an individual 800 number, according to MCI.

For people willing to shell out $37.95 a month, the service will add a pager, a free cellular phone, and discounts on cellular calling rates. Customers can sign up to MCI One, which will provide single billing for the services, beginning today.

And for those getting online for the first time, MCI One will even deliver a PC to the home and provide training in a special "personal touch" service.

"The computer will arrive loaded with the industry's leading software, including MCI One Internet software and email, and customers will enjoy an on-site tutorial to help them with the easiest way to take full advantage of the computing power at their fingertips," MCI said. The company did not specify what type of computers were available or their prices.

MCI's "intelligent network" will also offer home and small business security with its paging and cellular service. Using technology in partnership with Westinghouse Security Systems, this service will alert homeowners whenever someone enters or leaves the house.

With another feature, callers need only dial one 800 phone number to reach an MCI One customer, regardless of where the person is. The "intelligent network" will search for the customer through a series of preprogrammed numbers and route the caller to voice mail if there is still no answer. The customer is then paged.

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