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US WEST AND PICTURETEL SIGN AGREEMENT TO OFFER FIRST DIAL-UP DESKTOP VIDEO CONFERENCING FAMILY

 DENVER, Oct. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- US WEST's Advanced Communications Services (ACS) business unit and PictureTel Corp. (NASDAQ: PCTL), have signed a distribution agreement that will make PC-based desktop videoconferencing available over a public-switched digital dial-up network.
 US WEST will offer the new PictureTel LIVE(TM) desktop videoconferencing system in conjunction with US WEST's re-engineered 56Kbps SwitchNet 56 transport service. US WEST also will offer PictureTel's System 4000(TM) and System 1000(TM) group videoconferencing families under terms of the agreement. The agreement is effective immediately. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.
 Beginning in December throughout US WEST's 14-state service area, Desktop Video Service customers will be able to initiate a 112Kbps interactive video session by dialing any location with a standards-based video conference system and access to the public switched digital network (Switched 56 or ISDN BRI).
 "The public-switched digital network platform can reduce the cost of videoconferencing by as much as 60 percent," said Kurt Schwabauer, product marketing manager at US WEST ACS. "Dial-up videoconferencing can make a dramatic contribution to the functioning of dispersed work groups, scientific and technical organizations and customer service operations," Schwabauer said. "It is ideal for engineering organizations, design groups, medical consultation, employee training and other collaborative enterprises."
 "PictureTel is very pleased to be associated with US WEST, a key network provider that will offer ready access to complete turn-key video solutions to all of its current and future customers," said K. Michael Hickerson, vice president and general manager, US sales and service. "Providing added value to our customers is the central theme of PictureTel's partnerships and alliances. Not only do we want to offer the highest quality video with the ease-of-use of the ordinary telephone, but also offer affordable access to our products through strategic partners such as US WEST."
 The US WEST Desktop Video Service is the first standards-based commercial system to provide collaborative data and voice conferencing in the same bandwidth. PictureTel LIVE, for example, lets participants copy any applications window to a shared on-screen "whiteboard" to view and annotate. Images from near-end and far-end video windows can be "pasted" into documents or saved as files.
 PictureTel LIVE includes a compact dual-purpose camera with zoom, focus and aperture controls to show meeting participants or documents in most lighting environments; a 7Khz, full-duplex audio system; and two plug-in PC boards that provide video and audio compression, super VGA accelerated graphics and video mixing. The system operates on any ISA- based IBM or compatible personal computer running Microsoft Windows 3.1. List price for PictureTel LIVE is $5,995. The system is $8,500 configured with a dual, switched 56Kbps network interface. Proposed tariff rates for SwitchNet 56 range from $42 to $53 per month depending on length of contract, plus two cents per minute, per line. This equates to $2.40 per hour for a 112Kbps call.
 All PictureTel systems, including the high performance System 4000 and the entry-level System 1000 group and PictureTel LIVE desktop videoconferencing families, are fully interoperable and compatible with each other as well as with any other systems running the TSS (formerly CCITT) H.320 videoconferencing standard.
 PictureTel Corporation headquartered in Danvers, Mass., develops, manufactures and markets a full range of visual telecommunications solutions that are "Redefining the Way the World Meets." PictureTel, the world leader in dial-up videoconferencing, enables worldwide video communications through an easy-to-use, dial-up family of standards-based videoconferencing systems.
 US WEST Advanced Communications Services is a part of Denver-based US WEST Communications. US WEST advanced Communications Services markets a family of high-speed data communications services -- including Frame Relay Service, SMDS and Transparent LAN Service(TM) -- under the brand name !NTERPRISE Networking Services from US WEST.
 -0- 10/4/93
 /CONTACT: Giulia Urquhart of US West Advanced Communications Services, 303-965-9252; Ron Taylor of PictureTel Corp., 508-762-5178; William Orrange or Janis Ulevich of Ulevich & Orrange, 415-329-1590, for US West; Pam Austin of Rourke & Company, 617-267-0042, for PictureTel/
 (PCTL)


CO: PictureTel Corporation, US West Communications ST: Massachusetts, Colorado IN: TLS SU: PDT

JL-CM -- NE006 -- 8152 10/04/93 08:14 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 4, 1993
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