Sprint To Offer Streaming Audio And Video Conferencing



Sprint Communications Co. yesterday introduced a new component to its Internet Collaboration Center, a Web site that offers voice, video, and now streaming video and audio conferencing services.

Sprint has formed a partnership with Broadcast.com to provide the new services. Customers will be able to use live audio and video streaming capabilities with Microsoft PowerPoint presentations; users will access a conference over the Internet via a password and logon ID. Sprint will also let customers store streaming conferences and make them available for playback either to a general audience or via a password. Customers can use the services for prerecorded content, such as training sessions.

Users will be able to participate in real-time question-and-answer sessions over the Internet during a video and audio streaming broadcast. Users will type questions into a designated area and those questions will be sent directly to the conference's host. The services will work with either RealNetworks or Microsoft Media Player technologies, which Sprint will let customers download for free from its Web site. The service will also have an "event-logging" feature, which will keep track of all the names of the participants for each live event.

Sprint says it will charge customers on a per-user, per-minute basis. Those charges could range between 2 cents and 26 cents per minute. In addition, Sprint says it will charge an initial setup fee. The services will launch July 12.

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