Telephone conference call services
A search for telephone conference call services is conducted at times when businesses or individuals want to discuss an issue as a group.
This is commonly done when there is no need for video but you have a group of people that you want to relay information to at the same time to ensure everyone is one the same page.
In a small company, there may not be a pre-paid service in place.
Individuals may need a conference call for handling family emergencies or for planning a group event.
(I've used free video conferencing for this purpose when I couldn't find a free conference calling service.)
On this page you will find:
What is a Conference Call
A conference call is when more than two people are on a call at the same time.
So it is basically like a multipoint video conferencing but instead of looking at several people at the same time, you are only talking to them through an audio device.
You can connect to conference calls in several ways. If you have a group discussion or training scheduled using telephone conference call services:
- You are provided a telephone number (sometimes toll free) and an access code.
- When you dial the telephone number there is usually a recording that asks you to enter the access code. Once you enter the access code you will immediately be connected to your group.
If you are the moderator you have to enter a security code after
you enter the access code for the group to officially be active.
Until then your participants will be on hold.
Another easier way is:
- The moderator can call other members of the group for you and connect them to the call (if the service has a feature where they call participants).
You are also able to conduct three way calling where you would have three participants on the call. You usually wouldn't need a telephone conference call service because most people can make three way calls from their home or office.
For those who are unsure how this works:
- You call the second group member of the group (with you being the first already on the phone).
- After you make contact with that second member you press the receiver or the flash button.
- When you hear the dial tone, dial the second party's number.
- When you hear their phone ringing, press the receiver or flash button again. Then all three of you will be connected.
The primary reasons you may do conference calls are for the same reasons you would do video conferencing. You'd do it to save on travel expenses, conduct training, or audio seminars.
Some agree it is more cost effective and convenient to have an audio conference than to handle the expense of having all employees and business partners meet at a mutual location.
Lawyers, Doctors, Medical professionals along with companies from mid-size to large (Fortune 500) companies use audio conference calling often for day to day communication.
If you are unsure what to look for when looking for a reliable telephone conference call service, the list below will help you make an informed decision.
If you are hosting a conference call or are a participant in one you would want and appreciate the best experience possible.
It would be wise to look for:
- File Sharing Abilities - (if you have video access) it is convenient to share documents, files and a variety of visuals for better communication understanding.
- 24/7 Tech Support - Technology isn't 100% dependable. If you have more than 20 on a call and a technology glitch took place, that would be more then 20 individuals negatively affected
- Bandwidth Size - Bandwidth affects the quality of the sound of voices coming through the speakers. You want to make sure you have high bandwidth so you and participants are clear.
- Demonstration Packages - Look for company that offers a demonstration of audio conference package before you are locked into a contract.
- Rates - Beware of companies that offer cheap rates per/minute. There are usually hidden surcharges. Most businesses use flat monthly rate services.
Some of the well known telephone conference call services are:
- Web Ex
- Infinite Conferencing
- Free Conference
- Conference Calls
- AT&T Conferencing
- Budget Conferencing
- ACT Conferencing
- Live Meeting
- The Conference Group
- Conference Plus
- Zip Conferencing
- Copper Conferencing
You may have an abundance of conference call questions when deciding which service you would like to use.
These questions have to do with everything from the quality of your call to affordability of the service.If you are unsure of what you may need, the following are some conference call questions to jog your memory.
Make sure that you get most of these questions answered before you make your final decision on what service you decide to use.
- Do you have Local Toll Numbers
- Do you have 24-hour System Access
- Do you have Toll Numbers Available
- Do you have Blocked Entry
- Do you have a pay per minute option
- Do you have a custom greeting to participants
- Are your Conference Lines limited?
- Are there Activation Fees
- Do you have a participant List
- Do you have Multiple Presenter Controls
- Do you have Umlimited Monthly Usage option
- Do you have Conference Recording
- Do you have Free Call Recording
- Do you have Replay
- Do you have File Sharing
- Do you have Automated Invites and RSVPs
- Do you have Playback Recording
- Do you have Document Sharing
- Do you have Live Call Management
- Do you have Host Control
- Do you have Operator services
- Do you have Presentations Displayed in Real Time
- Do you collect info from participant
- Do you have Desktop/Application Sharing
- Do you have a registration age
- Do you have Remote Control Access
- Do you have RSVP Confirmation
- Do you have Redundant Bridges
- Do you have Call History
- Do you have Customizable Phone Number
- Do you have Online account management
- Do you dial to Participants
- Do you have account codes
- Do you have Online Billing
- Do you have Contracts