To the Company's best knowledge, there is only a single competitor, PeopleLink Inc., which is presently offering a similar product. PeopleLink tested its product in October 1996 with a beta test that lasted several weeks. The company is promoting its product through a Web site which will permit people to establish new accounts and receive an extension number online. It is not known whether (and if so, to what extent) the system will be modified now that the beta period has been completed. PeopleLink is positioning its product as a "call conferencing system designed for chatters." It is advertising a general release date of Winter 1997.
Although the Company has reason to believe that PeopleLink's price structure and marketing plans may be similar to those of the Company, PCC's Product is clearly distinguishable from, and more attractive than, PeopleLink's product. PeopleLink's product is essentially a private teleconferencing service. For two people to talk over their telephones using the PeopleLink system, they must both call into the same phone number virtually simultaneously (i.e., within a three minute window). Otherwise, they cannot be connected. Thus, PeopleLink's system requires users to pre-arrange and coordinate beforehand each and every call they wish to make.
In contrast, PCC's product is flexible and convenient, permitting people to call one another whenever they desire, without the need to pre-arrange a contact. Customers have complete control over where and when they answer their phone, and can direct calls automatically to voice mail if they do not answer the call, or choose not to accept it. Management believes that its system is superior to that of PeopleLink and that its product differentiation will give the Company a material advantage over its competition.