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The Tech Evolution Of The Free Conference Call

[ 0 ] Posted by on December 7, 2011

Cisco 7936 IP Conference Station

While businessmen were once required to sit on trains or in cars for hours of their working day, travelling to meetings, the same isn’t true today. Plenty still do travel for hours to meetings each month, of course, but with teleconferencing having come on so far in the last decade, there’s seldom any real need.

A way of doing business that’s becoming increasingly popular with small-medium enterprises worldwide, good free conference call services enable companies to hold important remote meetings with employees and clients alike, completely negating the cost of travel and the time.

What is conference calling?

Conference calls are simply telephone call in which two or more lines are connected via one of many conference call providers. Conference call hosts can choose either to allow the call recipients only to listen in (referred to as Audio Tele-Conference, or ‘ATC’), or fully interact.

How does conference calling work?

Recipients are given a number to dial that will connect them to what’s called a ‘conference bridge’. This then links the telephone lines of each of the participants, enabling the conference calls to go ahead.

In order to be able to host and participate in conference calls, companies must join conference call service provider, who will then provide the company with the dial-in phone and PIN numbers needed hold and participate in teleconferencing.

Are there any other types of technology that resemble conference calls?

Back in 2010, the iPhone 4 brought us FaceTime. With the iPhone 4’s built-in dual camera system, one front-facing and on rear-facing, people can talk to another person with an iPhone 4 or 4S. Skype is another service that’s free and allows participation of up to 25 users on 25 different connections.

Can I just use these alternatives instead of a dedicated conferencing service?

No, not really. While the iPhone’s FaceTime app does allow video calling, it only enables participation of two connections, and while Skype does allow up to 25 connections, it doesn’t enable video conferencing, plus the fact that it’s free means that it can be unreliable, which is not conducive to smooth business operations.

So our advice is that you invest in a recommended conference call service today – it’ll probably be the best business investment you’ve made so far this century.

PS: Digging this story, news or review? Let us know! Comments open.

About Jakk: Jakk Ogden is the founder of Technology Blogged. 25, with a love for good writing, you'll find Jakk playing 'Drag Racing' on his Nexus 5 and rocking a pair of Grado headphones. If you love technology, be sure to subscribe to his feed for unique editorials. View author profile.

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