Friday, August 27, 2004

Free Conference Calls

That's right, free conference calls on  So what's the catch?  Here are the big points of using the free service (Web Scheduled Conference):

  • Maximum number of people that can call in: 100
  • Maximum duration of call: 3 hours
  • Phone number: a long distance number that is assigned when you set the call up

In addition to the free scheduled service, you can also using the free Reservationless System, but this system has the following parameters:

  • Maximum number of people that can call in: 25
  • Maximum duration of call: 3 hours
  • Phone number: a number chosen from a list of available numbers
  • There is no guarantee that there will be space for everyone that you want to have call in.
  • You may receive a busy signal

This service is a big deal.  Chances are that your company (or you) are paying a conference call service some sort of monthly fee plus a per minute charge per participant for conference calls.  The thing to consider with the free services described above is that your long distance rate per minute is probably much lower than the price per minute charges.  Furthermore, if everyone dials long distance to get into the call, then the cost of the call is being borne by each individual caller rather than the company or person who is setting the call up.

I must say that I have yet to try this service myself, but I guarantee you that I will be using it soon and will post the results of my experiences.

As a side note, they do seem to provide a pretty aggressively priced 800-number option.

Is free conference calling the new instant messaging?  I feel that free conference calling is the perfect voice-driven complement to instant messaging.


Anonymous said...

You have to love that CABS revenue!

( If you don't know what CABS is, it's the access charges that telecom companies pay each other for usage of the other's network. In this case, for example, it would be to terminate the calls. This is the same principle that allows eFax, etc. to survive for free. )

Anonymous said...

Conference Call service by AccuConference offers free conferencing with powerpoint and recording (no charges) via