Today, Sprint becomes the first carrier to truly deliver a Video Mail service for the masses by offering an easy-to-use, affordable and nationwide service for customers to communicate via video — all at a true flat-rate price. Video Mail from Sprint, which is powered by LightSurf, allows customers to capture, view and share 15 seconds of everyday moments directly from their PCS Vision Video Phones to any email address or select PCS Vision Phones while on the Sprint Nationwide PCS Network. Video Mail is the latest PCS Vision service and compliments the popular Picture Mail service from Sprint.
In the third quarter, Sprint customers shared and uploaded more than 23 million pictures. Sprint introduced wireless pictures in the United States with its simple pricing plans and easy-to-use handsets and service. Video Mail customers will enjoy the same simplicity with the two initial handsets from Sprint: the PCS Vision Video Phone VM4500 by Sanyo and the PCS Vision Video Phone VM4050 by Toshiba.
“Sprint changed the way people communicate with the launch of Picture Mail earlier this year. With the introduction of Video Mail, we are giving customers multiple ways to share life as it happens,” said Jeff Hallock, assistant vice president of consumer product marketing for Sprint. “In the same way that customers have their choice between a camera and a camcorder, they now have their choice of instantly sharing an image of a group of friends at the beach or a video of one of those friends catching their first wave.” Video Mail allows customers to take up to 15 seconds of video directly from their PCS Vision Phone and share to any e-mail address or PCS Video Phone. The service is an additional $5 per month to the $15 PCS Vision Pictures Pack, which together includes:
— Unlimited Video Mail and Picture Mail taking and sharing: Customers can share life as it happens with their choice of videos or pictures that can be sent to any e-mail address or select PCS Vision Phones.
— Easy to use service: It only takes a few steps to take and share a video. Simply select the video/camera button on the phone, push the soft key to record and instantly share everyday moments.
— Online storage: Sprint customers can conveniently manage their videos and pictures at the same site ( picturemail.sprintpcs.com ). The website lets users pick from various enhancement options that include cropping and lightening/darkening or adding fun effects such as comic bubbles, cartoons and line drawings, and picture frames and stickers.
— Unlimited web browsing: And up to $5 in credits toward premium downloads such as ringers, screen savers and games.
PCS Video Mail builds on the success of PCS Picture Mail with a familiar look and feel and a tightly integrated design. Like Picture Mail, Video Mail is powered by a customized application service built on the LightSurf 5 Open Standards MMS Platform, a comprehensive suite of scalable and secure Multimedia Messaging software components. LightSurf 5 technology enables a seamless exchange of digital pictures, audio and video using any visual communications system or any other Internet-ready, graphics-capable wired or wireless network.
In 2003, Sprint expects to add two Video Mail handsets to compliment its existing line-up of six camera phones. The PCS Vision Picture Phone VM4500 by Sanyo is currently available at Sprint Stores and select third party retailers. In addition to PCS Vision and Video Mail, the phone supports Sprint’s recently announced nationwide walkie-talkie service: PCS Ready Link. The PCS Vision Picture Phone VM4050 by Toshiba is expected to be available before the end of the year. The VM4050 will feature a large screen with a detailed 260K full-color screen and 310/350 pixel primary display. Like the VM4500, the VM4050 includes both camera and camcorder functionality, giving customers the ability to take either still or moving images.
Sprint announced 2.7 million PCS Vision customers through the end of 3rd quarter and leads the industry in adoption of advanced wireless data services. PCS Vision from Sprint includes services that allow customers to take and receive pictures from select PCS Phones; browse the Internet at speeds faster than most dial-up connections; check personal and corporate e-mail; watch clips and stream audio for news and music; download polyphonic, animated and voice ringers, and full-color, graphically-rich games and screen savers, all on the enhanced Sprint Nationwide PCS Network.