Just in time for the holidays: a new service to set up quick conference calls on the run.
As of yesterday, subscribers to US Sprint's long-distance calling card can set up a three-way conference call from any touch-tone telephone, be it in a hotel lobby, airport terminal or shopping mall.
Dubbed "QuickConference," the service requires no operato assistance, a feature that distinguishes it from other conferencing services currently available, said Don Goldman, director of messaging and operator services for US Sprint.
"Conferencing is great for people who travel, and travel picks u during the holidays," Mr. Goldman explained.
To use the service, the customer must be a subscriber of Foncard, Sprint's long-distance calling card, and have access to a touch-tone phone, he said.
According to Mr. Goldman, QuickConference is truly quick: It takes less than 30 seconds to set up a three-way conversation.
Though no assistance is required, operators can be summoned to help patch through a call if necessary, he said.
The service normally costs75 cents plus the cost of the long-distance calls. However, Sprint will be waiving the 75-cent hookup fee for the next three months, Mr. Goldman said, as part of a 90-day promotionof the new service that begins today.
Advertisements for the service featuring the company's nespokeswoman, actress Candice Bergen, will begin running in most major markets today, according to Mr. Goldman.
Sprint already offers several audio and teleconferencing services. Most of those services are priced and packaged for the business market.
The introduction of QuickConference represents a push by Sprint into the consumer end of that increasingly lucrative market, which is expected to generate $1 billion in revenues this year.
In addition to QuickConference, Sprint offers a new residentialaudio-conferencing service. The service, intended for use from home phones, offers discounted rates for calling during nights, weekends and holidays, Mr. Goldman said.
That service allows a number of people in different cities to talon the phone at the same time.