Making an international conference call is not much different than making a regular conference call. In fact, making international conference calls is simpler than it sounds. The same basic principles apply:
- Participants dial in to a conference call access number
- They enter the access code or PIN for their conference
- They join the conference
The only difference with international conference calling is that international participants need special access numbers to avoid paying expensive international rates for the call. Many larger conference call services offer an international toll-free number to access the conference. Others establish local access numbers in countries around the world where clients typically do business [source: Premiere Global].
For example, say you're located in the United States and you want to hold a conference call with colleagues in France, Israel and Australia. All of the parties would need to dial either an international toll-free access number or a local access number. Callers who use the local access number are instantly patched into the central conference bridge via a global IP network [source: Premiere Global].
Another option for saving money when making international conference calls is to use a dial-out system rather than a dial-in system. With a dial-out system, the conference call moderator dials out to each participant individually, absorbing the costs of each international call. This method is particularly useful if the moderator has access to cheap international calling rates, perhaps through a VoIP service.
The future of international phone calls is clearly going in the direction of VoIP. But for people unwilling to give up their landline or cell phone number, we're seeing a number of dual-mode phones that provide the best of both worlds. Dual-mode cell phones roam seamlessly back and forth between the cellular network and a wireless Internet network. And dual-mode VoIP handsets, like the one being offered by Skype, can make and receive calls over a landline or the Internet.
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