Sept. 21, 2002 – Sprint's recently introduced PCS Vision services and products are aimed at untethering cellular telephone customers from their office or home base in visual as well as audio mode.
"Your mobile phone is not just a phone anymore," said Sprint's media relations official Dan Wilinsky, using his cellular telephone to explain the technical details.
A Sprint release said PCS Vision "opens up a whole new mobile window to the world with clarity you can see and hear."
Sprint, a service provider in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico as well as throughout the mainland United States, has become the "first wireless carrier to launch nationwide applications that enable full-color, easy-to-use services such as messaging and e-mail, enhanced with web browsing and color games and pictures," the release stated.
For a limited time, Sprint is offering customers the opportunity to try PCS Vision at no additional charge for three months and for as little as $10 a month after that with select service plans and a one-year agreement.
PCS Vision allows users to take and view photographs via their cell phones utilizing a miniature digital camera and then transmit the images or upload them onto a Sprint Pictures Web site. In addition, users can add attachments to access their e-mail, play games with full-color graphics alone or linked with other players and personal their screen savers.
With PCS Vision Business Connection Personal Edition software, customers can access company data with real-time access to Microsoft Outlook or Lotus Notes corporate e-mail. "The software-based version can be set up in minutes, requires no hardware installation and provides an affordable way for customers to view, reply to and delete their e-mail in real time," the Sprint release said.
Utilizing a PCS Connection Card with a laptop or PDA, business users can access the Internet and their corporate networks with bandwidth optimization for such applications as Web browsing and downloading files. Web access will allow for downloads from popular sites such as E! Online, ESPN.com, weather.com from The Weather Channel and Amazon.com.
. "The compression enables data speeds two to five times faster than average user speeds on the enhanced Nationwide PCS Network," the release said.
Wilinsky said Sprint's modem cards for cellular phones work as fast as desktop modems. Its peak data speeds are 10 times faster than what had previously been available using cell phones.
"PCS Vision brings together all the devices, applications and content that make it faster and easier than ever for Sprint customers to communicate, access information, entertain themselves, conduct transactions and take their desktops with them wherever they are," company chair and chief executive William T. Esrey said.
He said the Sprint Nationwide PCS Network "covers more people than any other next-generation wireless network in the country and provides a single technology that allows services and features to work the same everywhere."
And just for the fun of it, the vision-enabled phones offer a choice of hundreds of different ringtones, from music releases to sound effects, that can be assigned to specific numbers in the device's address book. They also give users the option of downloading screen savers from the handset, many featuring synchronized animation; these, too, can be assigned to specific address book numbers.
The service became available nationwide in August. Sprint was scheduled this month to add customized digital imaging with ActivePhoto for customers using a Ricoh RDC-i700. camera.
Sprint is selling PCS vision phones manufactured by Sanyo, Handspring, Samsung, LG, Hitachi and Toshiba that have suggested retail prices between $180 and $800. PCS Connection cards made by Novatel Wireless, Sierra Wireless and Yiso list for about $250 to $350. The PCS Vision Camera from InfoHand is being sold exclusively through Sprint for under $100, the release said.
On an introductory basis for a limited time, business customers are being offered unlimited data usage for $49.99 a month for the first three months and $99.99 thereafter with a one-year agreement.
For data applications, customers are charged for data sent or received; this does not affect service-plan minutes, and billing for voice plans remains unchanged. To obtain additional information locally, call Sprint Caribe at 776-3232.
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