With the onset of technology, many innovations to preserve and enhance communication came into existence, including what has been termed as conference calls. Conference call services are an essential part of today’s rapidly transforming world because amidst all the changes, people look for more ways to effectively communicate with colleagues, business partners, academic connections, and even with friends and family.
This article tours the reader in everything he needs to know about conference call services, namely the (1) definition; (2) the different types; (3) who benefits from it the most; and (4) a few suggested services.
Conference Call Services: Definition
A conference call is a type of call in which the caller prefers to have more than one person to talk and listen to at the other end of the line. The call may be set up to have all callers actively listen and talk to each other. In other instances, the called party merely listens to the call and does not have the opportunity to respond by speaking.
All conference call services are designed so that the caller may opt to call other participants and adding them to the current active call. In other cases, a call participant dials a telephone number which allows them to connect to a “conference bridge,” which is a special type of equipment that allows the conference call feature. In most cases, conference call services can be activated by request from the telephone service provider.
Conference Call Services: The Different Types
There are three main types of conference call services. Each of these is configured to serve the specific needs of businesses or individuals. It is essential to know these different types before requesting for this feature to be installed in one’s telephone.
When a customer chooses this kind of service, he pays a fixed monthly cost to his telephone service provider. Normally, the customer would have unlimited access to the conference call feature. There are some providers that offer conference call services that cover long distance calls.
This type is based on the pay-per-use policy. Usually, customers would purchase this service online after which they will be sent a specific PIN number. They will use this PIN to allow themselves access to either participate in or host a conference call. Most would opt for this service since they do not need to purchase specialized equipment and they can simply use their computers, landline phones, or mobile phones to use the feature.
Recently, free conference call services are steadily rising in popularity. This is because this type of service allows users to engage in conference calls without being charged. Users would only have to pay for long distance charges when applicable. Most would even be able to experience unlimited calls and even up to 1000 call participants. Some providers even allow international conference calls without the subscriber having to pay for extra costs. Because it is affordable and more accessible, most businesses prefer this type of service to enhance their communications while at the same time cutting extra costs on paid services.
Conference Call Services: Who Benefits from It?
It is not undeniable how useful it is to have a conference call feature installed in one’s telephone line. The question is who exactly benefits the most from conference call services?
Anyone in the business world would not deny the usefulness conference call services provide them. Businesses often make conference calls in order to stay in touch with partners and colleagues whether they are within the same location or in other places. The usual purpose of businesses for making conference calls is to talk about team meetings, important presentations, or even simple communication and follow-ups with employees who are currently in a different location. Conference call services are a good way to cut travel costs and it also allows for more productivity as it does not require employees and workers to go out and attend meetings outside the workplace.
Most quality education facilities are now making use of conference call services the same way businesses are. Group meetings, announcements, project collaborations, and other education-related purposes are some of the reasons why both students and faculties benefit from conference call services.
Professors or student group leaders use conference calls when they need to make a presentation using the Internet. They can send the participants a presentation they have made and explain it to them through conference call. Still, some would make use of conference call services to hold important discussions over the phone when they circumstances would not permit them to meet in person.
(3) Party Line
Aside from business and education, conference calls can also be used for social or entertainment purposes. Group calls, or party lines, are sometimes used as a way to maintain fun communication and socializing among friends and families.
The Best Conference Call Services
Upon running a search on the Internet, one would find thousands of conference call services that users may choose from. There are those offered for free while there are those which users would have to pay for. The following are a few suggested services or applications.
Free Conference Call Services
(1) Anymeeting.com – allows up to 200 participants and also includes conference recording, screen sharing, and video conferencing.
(2) Skype – free for users who log in through the Internet. Includes video conferencing and also allows traditional calls at low rates.
(3) Free Conference Calling – can hold calls with up to 1,000 users. Also has recording features and supports other services like cellphone, landline, and VoIP.
Paid Conference Call Services
(1) Totally Free Conference – this is probably one of the easiest conference call services to use and has been in service for more than 5 years already.
(2) Megameeting – with its 30-day free trial, it does not include any service contracts and allows for both voice and video calls.
(3) Dimdim – this is one of those services which do not require any download and installation. It comes with a 30-day free trial.
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