Operator Assisted Conference Call

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Operator assisted conference call enables organizations to stay connected with national and international partners, vendors, employees, bidders, trainees, and other people in expertly run group calls.

With our operator actively monitoring the conference call (or group of them for larger events), the host of the call can focus on the task at hand without the distractions of greeting attendees, verifying attendance, fielding questions, or muting and unmuting lines.

How an Operator Assisted Conference Call Works

Operator assisted conference calls rely on the same underlying technology as our regular conference calls, but have a much more personal touch.

Live operators work with you before, during, and after the call, providing a concierge-like experience.

With larger groups, registration becomes paramount.

We set this up and manage it for you as well as send out reminders so no one forgets to call in. If they do forget, our operators will dial out to them and manually join them into the call.

We provide all attendees with local or toll free access numbers, even if they are located in other countries.

For the few countries without local or toll-free access, our operators will dial those attendees directly.

Beforehand, an operator will meet with you to plan the conference call, go over its requirements, and assign a sufficient number of operators to participate in the call.

As the call begins, operators will greet attendees, gather any required information, confirm they’re on the authorized list, and troubleshoot connections.

If desired, an operator can present both the introduction and conclusion of the call. During the call, operators mute and unmute lines, field questions, dial-out to any scheduled speakers, and more.

You can also have an operator moderate the Q&A session. After the call, an operator can compile and send reports, recordings, and transcripts based on the services you’ve ordered.

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Benefits of an Operator Assisted Conference Call

Holding a large conference call is more complicated than holding a small one, with the potential for more disruptions and less organization.

Operator assisted conference calls solves this problem, allowing you to focus on your message delivery while we take care of the call’s logistics.

Some of the benefits of operator-assisted conference calls include:

  • Improved conference call security — We make sure only authorized attendees can join the call through the use of passcodes and by screening them as they join.
  • Audio monitoring — Background noise, dogs barking, interruptions, and inappropriate outburst are unpleasant interruptions that can quickly derail your audio conference. Lecture only mode and live audio monitoring reduce the risk of audio disruptions leading to a better conferencing experience for everyone.
  • Improved attendance — Timely reminders and our operators’ ability to dial participants directly improve conference call attendance.
  • Improved engagement — Since operators can conduct polls throughout the conference call, the call becomes more engaging and you can gather attendee sentiment.

Operator Assisted Conferencing Uses

Companies use an operator assisted conference call for all kinds of purposes including but not limited to:

  • Workforce planning — Quickly hiring or laying off tens of thousands of employees is no easy undertaking. Bringing executives, HR managers, legal teams, and other key participants from around the globe into a group audio call helps to ensure that everyone receives the same information.
  • Annual meetings — Whether presenting to shareholders or collaborating with internal personnel, holding annual meetings via operator-assisted conference calls is a cost-effective way to share information with a large, geographically diverse group.

Film production meetings — Multiple production units from across the country or around the world often collaborate via operator-assisted conference calls.

Utilize a visual element that you desire. Share slides, screen share, and choose to collaborate fully with any of the top tier video platforms available, such as:


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Zoom versus Old School Audio Conferencing

Zoom video call versus Old School Audio Conferencing

By now, most working professionals, college students, parents, and even retirees are familiar with Zoom, Google Hangouts, and other popular Internet-based video conferencing apps.

The COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting stay-at-home orders and physical distancing requirements caused a massive shift from in-person to virtual interactions.

Thankfully, technology has made it possible to work from home and stay connected with colleagues, customers, friends, and family members despite the restrictions.

Unfortunately, what looks good on paper doesn’t always play out in reality.

Zoom Video Requires Sufficient Bandwidth

For starters, video conferencing requires reliable, high-speed broadband connections, and not everybody has them.

Moreover, an estimated 47 percent increase in broadband usage in the first quarter of 2020 has strained the system for existing users.

With everyone home, we’re all watching Netflix, playing online video games, working remotely, and attending school online — we’re all power users!

Cable ISP providers serving a neighborhood or apartment building, for example, only provide so much bandwidth for that community. As more users tap into it, there’s less to go around for others.

This wasn’t as big a deal when people weren’t online all the time using bandwidth-heavy applications like video streaming and video conferencing, but it is now.

Even worse, many communities lack broadband access or have slow connections. The FCC’s Eighth Broadband Progress Report reveals that:

“…approximately 19 million Americans—6 percent of the population—still lack access to fixed broadband service at threshold speeds.

In rural areas, nearly one-fourth of the population —14.5 million people—lack access to this service. In tribal areas, nearly one-third of the population lacks access.

Even in areas where broadband is available, approximately 100 million Americans still do not subscribe.”

A Lack of Bandwidth Leads to a Poor Zoom Video Conferencing Experience

So let’s say you have an important Zoom meeting coming up and a DSL Internet connection that has worked fine in the past for the occasional video conference. However, your family’s home using up bandwidth.

When you join your meeting, it’s a sluggish disaster filled with a jittery video that cuts in and out, delays, frozen images, and audio glitches. You can barely make sense of what others are saying and they can barely see or hear you.

What if you live in a rural area where broadband connections and DSL aren’t available at all?

You may have to drive to a public access point such as city hall, a library, or your favorite coffee house and hope the connection is sufficient for your purposes.

Consider that you may need to maintain a safe physical distance from others doing the same thing.

We Can’t Ignore the Digital Divide

The digital divide affects people of color, tribal communities, low-income citizens, and rural residents.

Whether it’s about affordability or lack of infrastructure, the inability to participate in distance learning, remote work, video conferences, and other virtual activities puts these individuals at a huge disadvantage.

Imagine one of your key team members working from home in a rural area with limited access. She can’t fully attend your weekly video conferences, though she tries.

Glitches and garbled audio make it nearly impossible. As a result, her ideas are not being heard and she’s not learning the critical information she needs to do her job effectively. You’re both missing out.

Zoom Video Conferencing Security is Still Evolving

With the rush to Zoom and other popular video conferencing apps, video conferencing security — and its flaws — have become a major concern.

Tom’s Guide details a long list of security issues associated with Zoom video conferencing.

Here are just a few:

  • Zoom installers laced with malware — Make sure you download Zoom from the official site. Otherwise, you could expose your computer to malware such as a cryptocoin miner that takes over your computer to mine cryptocurrency. With a huge user base thanks to the pandemic, Zoom has become an attractive target for hackers and troublemakers.
  • Zoom call bombing — Public Zoom video conferences are vulnerable to a practice known as “Zoom bombing” where pranksters join the meeting and post inappropriate pictures or make obnoxious noises. To avoid this, do not publicize your meeting IDs and require a password to join.
  • Malware in shared files — A now-patched flaw allowed hackers to share malicious animated GIFs and ZIP files in Zoom’s chat feature. As with any unsolicited file, you should use care before clicking, especially in a public Zoom video conference.
  • Privacy concerns — Zoom’s privacy policy originally reserved the right to use your personal data and share it with third parties. After criticism, the privacy policy was rewritten but there are still some lingering questions about Zoom’s relationship with third-party advertisers.
  • Private Zoom chats may not be so private — If you chat privately with another attendee, the host may be able to see it in the end-of-meeting transcript sent after the video conference.
  • Meeting recordings can be found online — The predictable URL structure of Zoom call recordings make them easy to find, and many were not previously password protected. Zoom has since added a Captcha challenge to the recordings, but the URL structure remains the same.

While some issues have been addressed, video conferencing security continues to evolve. With Zoom call being a large target, you’ll want to use care when using the app and follow the best practices of securing your video conferences with a password and non-public meeting link.

Should You Go Old School With Audio Conferencing?

Audio conferencing has been a business mainstay for decades. It’s convenient, reliable, and widely accessible.

With the pandemic, however, many organizations have become enamored with video conferencing. After all, we crave face-to-face interactions with our peers, family members, and friends and we have the technology to make it happen.

In addition to the problems outlined above, there’s also a bit of video conferencing fatigue going on. What normally would have been an audio conference pre-COVID-19 has now become a video conference.

This means dressing up, de-cluttering the background, and remaining on camera for the duration of the meeting.

Holding an audio conference solves these issues beautifully. You can still exchange information with your team in a group audio call, but it’s not necessary to see each other.

Those in rural communities or without Internet access can fully participate simply by dialing a phone number on their mobile or landline telephones. Your meetings no longer leave others out due to the digital divide.


That said, audio conferencing comes in two flavors — VoIP and “old school” PSTN.

With VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) audio conferencing, the same broadband access and quality issues can occur because the data is carried over the Internet and impacted by bandwidth or lack thereof.

Thus, audio quality may be subpar with delays, echoes, muffled or garbled sounds, and other issues. With old school PSTN audio conferencing, the audio quality is far superior because the data is carried over traditional PSTN telephone lines.

Remember those old “you can hear a pin drop” commercials? That’s the type of audio connections associated with PSTN audio conferencing.

So, should you host a Zoom video conference or go old school with audio conferencing? Both have their place.

You may have some occasions where face-to-face interactions and screen- and file-sharing make video conferencing the best choice.

However, there are likely far more occasions where a simple audio conference will lead to a more productive meeting and a better user experience without potentially leaving any of your team behind.






Smartphone International Conference Calls

Smartphone International Conference Calls

Smartphone International Conference Calls and international participants on a smartphone has its challenges — for you and for participants. Even if you have just three attendees in total and use your phone’s three-way calling feature, dialing an international number requires entering your country’s exit code and the other partys’ country codes. You’ll need to determine those in advance. Meanwhile, your phone’s calling plan may not support international calling, throwing yet another wrench into what should be a simple process. You could have your international attendees call you, but that just subjects them to these same issues. Plus, how will you connect everyone into a single call if they’re calling you?

International Conferencing Plans for Low-Cost Global Conference Calls

The best way to make low-cost international conference calls on a smartphone is to use our international conference calling plan. We bill only for the minutes you use — and at competitive per minute rates for more than 150 countries around the world. In fact, you’d probably pay much more using your phone’s three-way calling feature and dialing your international participants directly. Our plan is offered without a contract and with no minimum usage requirements so you can use it, or not use it, as you please.

Smartphone International Conference Calls and the Free Connect App

Once you sign up for one of our pay-as-you-go plans, the process of hosting a call from your smartphone is simple. We recommend downloading our free Connect app, which will be sent to you upon activating your account. You may share this app with your attendees as well. The app lets you start an on-demand conference call with just a few taps. Your participants can tap to join your global conference calls. There’s no need for anyone to enter access numbers or passcodes, nor will anyone be required to dial a lengthy and potentially costly international long distance number.

The Connect app is ideal for both the moderator of the call and international attendees who will be joining the call using a mobile phone. It’s not the only way to join, though. In fact, our service supports all types of phones including traditional landlines, VoIP phones, Skype, or computer access. We have access numbers for more than 150 countries. These numbers are specific to each country, enabling participants to dial a number that’s either local or toll free to them, yet joining your international conference call. For example, a participant in France might dial a local number for Paris or a toll free French number while someone located in Japan would be offered access numbers local to Japan.

This reduces the burden of international dialing and eliminates concerns about how much the call will cost. At the same time, it makes dialing from a mobile or landline phone as easy as dialing a local phone number. If a user prefers to use the Connect app, that’s even easier. It’s also ultimately cheaper for you as calls made using the Connect app are billed using our low dial-out rates.

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The days of trying to coordinate an international conference call via your phone’s three-way calling feature are over. We offer a much better way for dozens of participants to join from around the world. Using a global PSTN network, the call quality is exceptional. Our live, US-based operators are ready to assist 24/7 should you need help. Best of all, whether you use the Connect app or another connection method, the process is easy.

Learn more or sign up for an account today


Virtual Meeting Service

Designate someone to take notes and record the meeting. You’ll want to start your virtual meetings with some housekeeping, starting with designating one person to take notes using the shared notes feature inside Virtual Workplace.

Virtual Meeting Service

5 Quick and Easy Ways to Improve the Productivity of Your Virtual Meeting

Virtual Meeting using the Virtual Workplace tool makes it easier than ever to collaborate with your team. It’s no longer necessary to find or travel to a convenient meeting place.

In fact, your team no longer needs to reside in the same geographic area in order to meet face-to-face thanks to video and web conferencing.

As wonderful as video conferencing is, there’s always room for improvement. If your virtual meetings are not as productive as you’d like, these virtual meeting housekeeping tips are for you.

1. Designate someone to take notes and record the meeting. You’ll want to start your virtual meetings with some housekeeping, starting with designating one person to take notes using the shared notes feature in Virtual Workplace.

This will free everyone else from the task while also putting the information in a shared environment for instant access if needed.

Let everyone know that the recording is also being recorded and will be distributed to them afterward. This step will help your team members to be more present during the virtual meeting.

2. Make use of the chatbox. The chatbox isn’t just for idle chitchat. It serves an important organizational purpose. Encourage attendees to enter their questions and comments into the chat box as they arise.

While you might not address them then and there, at the end of the meeting you can go through the list. This is a great way to get input from the introverts in the group who might otherwise hesitate to speak up.

3. Do a quick “round-robin” at the beginning or end of the video conference. Just as you’d go around the conference room table seeking input from attendees, do the same in your virtual meetings.

It’s smart to have each person answer the same routine questions such as what they’re working on, what they need help with, and what are the near-term projects they will be working on.

4. Use PowerPoint slides to highlight agenda items. Having and sharing an agenda is crucial for productive meetings, so make it a prominent part of your video-based meetings by converting it into a PowerPoint.

Create a slide for each agenda item using a large font and engaging visuals. If an agenda item is assigned to a particular person, add that person’s name or photo to the slide. This could help prevent others from commandeering the topic.

Keep your slides simple and uncluttered. As the presenter of the virtual meeting, you can share your screen. However, while the agenda is important, don’t hide behind it.

Alternate between being on camera and then switching to the agenda or use a split-screen format where both your face and the PowerPoint are visible. Keeping the agenda items prominent will help in keeping the meeting focused and productive.

5. Use an on-screen timer. If you have sufficient PowerPoint skills, consider building a timer into your PowerPoint slides or setting each agenda item to automatically progress to the next slide after a predetermined duration. Here’s an easy way to add a progress bar to a PowerPoint slide:

Including an automatic timing element in your virtual meetings will help everyone to stay on track. For example, as the progress bar reaches its end, the speaker will know when it’s time to wrap up the topic.

Your own workspace branding

Another way is to make sure you’re using a user-friendly video conferencing tool such as Virtual Workplace.

If you are meeting with potential or existing clients, consider the benefits of a ‘branded’ meeting. Branding with your own company logo and domain can provide your enterprise with a great first impression.

You can enable the consistency, prominence, and credibility that your brand offers. Enable your website branding to carry over to your own virtual workspace.

Try it free now


Virtual Global Phone Number Use While On Tour

How to Use a Virtual Global Phone Number When On an International Tour

Virtual Global Phone Number

Why you may need a Global Phone Number and a Mobile Phone

Mobile Phones can be used by a rock star, musicians, stage actors, dancers, performers, crew members, business professionals, military service members, or a world traveler, going on an international tour or any sort means extensive time away from home — and your loved ones. Mobile phones are wonderful tools that can help you stay in touch, but they don’t always work as expected from one country to the next. Plus, international roaming charges are likely to put a damper on your international phone conversations. Fortunately, a global phone number is a cost-effective solution that enables you to be reached by phone no matter where in the world you might be.

What is a Virtual Global Phone Number?

By being “virtual,” this type of phone number is not tied to any given physical phone line. Rather, you can change where the phone rings at any time, to any phone number. Since it is also a global phone number, this means that you can forward your calls to any phone in the world and take advantage of our low international call forwarding rates.

For example, if your family and friends are in the United States, you could get a toll free virtual global phone number for the United States and then set your “ring to” number to ring to your hotel phone in Paris, France. To your callers, it’s a typical toll free phone call. Behind the scenes, that call is forwarded over our modern fiber optic telecommunications network to your hotel room in France — bypassing the typical (and expensive) international long distance carriers that your calls would normally travel through.

The Flexibility of Using a Virtual Global Phone Number When On an International Tour

When on tour, you’re rarely in one place long. After a night in France, you could find yourself in Germany, Ireland, UK, or Switzerland before heading off to another country — or continent — a few days later. When you have a virtual global phone number, your callers don’t need to try to figure out where you are and how to reach you because they’ll always dial the same exact phone number every time. Instead, you’ll change the ring to number as you travel around the world.

Thus, an example ring-to strategy might look like this:

  • Paris, France: Ring-to number set as hotel room phone number
  • Berlin, Germany: Ring-to number set as a disposal cell phone purchased in Germany
  • Dublin, Ireland: Ring-to number set as a phone line at a temporary office space you’ve rented for the day
  • Nova Scotia, Canada: Ring-to number set as your personal mobile phone number
  • Iceland: Ring-to number set as your hotel phone number 

Using  a Virtual Global Phone Number to Make Cheap Calls Home

The ability to receive phone calls from home while on tour is reassuring; however, there will likely be times when you’d like to initiate the calls. Our contract-free global phone numbers work in the opposite way, too. For example, if you’re staying in Paris, France for a few weeks, it might make sense to order a global call forwarding number that’s local to Paris. That way, you could make a local call, but set the ring to number to the phone number of whomever you are calling — no matter where in the world they may be. Since our virtual global phone numbers are offered without a contract, they’re perfect for short-term use such as when a job, assignment, or tour requires overseas travel.

Learn more about Virtual Phone Number for International Use


Expanded International Conference Call Plan

Connect with anyone in any country uitilizing a group international conference call.

Can a participant join your conference call from their country?  

If you host a diverse conference call with guests in remote countries, network access numbers might not exist.  But this shouldn’t stop your call.

Expanded Global Conference Calls

The Expanded Plan includes in-country toll-free access in over 100 countries plus local access numbers in 50 worldwide cities.

In addition to convenient dial-in access methods enabling an attendee to login with either a local or toll-free number from inside their country, the Expanded Plan also gives the chairperson dial-out capability.

How does the dial-out option help you add inaccessible attendees to your call?

In a nutshell, the dial-out feature enables the leader to call out to any phone number globally without disturbing the meeting in progress.  This means the leader of the call can add a participant on demand in any country.

The attendee simply answers the inbound call to their phone and is immediately added to the call.

For instance, recently a customer based in New York had a project in progress in Ghana.  There is simply no easy way for Ghana attendees to access the call.  So, the chairperson uses the Expanded Plan with the easy dial-out feature to add the Ghana guests to their weekly calls.  The other attendees located in the US and Kenya access the call using the supplied toll-free numbers.

In addition to the dial-out feature, the Expanded Plan also offers a free App that enables connecting to the conference room using any web-enabled device such as iPhone, Android, Blackberry or a PC and MAC desktop.  The Connect App makes dialing in using traditional toll-free or local numbers unnecessary as long as the attendee has a WiFi connection.

Be careful with the company you choose

Some companies offer local international access numbers that you can give out to your global call participants but they may not work.

Bad, non-working access numbers are obviously something you want to avoid especially on an important business conference call with a potential client, existing customer or with a regular team meeting call.  Some of the problematic services with non-working overseas access numbers are touted as cost-free.  The saying is still true, you get what you pay for.

The Expanded Plan is an all-inclusive, high powered, intercontinental business collaboration tool with global access numbers guaranteed to be operational 24/7.

In addition to the many methods of accessing your call, the chairperson can always reach a 24 hour U.S. based operator who will connect anyone, or fix anything required.

Learn more about the Expanded Plan here


Conference Calls Hosting

In addition to the normal method of accessing a conference via a phone, one very convenient free optional feature customers enjoy is to use a Connect App. Essentially this is another option to access a conference call using a web enabled device.

How to Host International Conference CallsTasked with hosting an international conference call? It’s not as easy to host international conference calls as it is to do so domestically for several reasons. First, you have time zone and language differences to contend with. Second, different countries have different dialing conventions and international calling costs. And third,  if you’re trying to do it with your office conference phone, it may not be able to handle a large volume of conference call participants.

Here’s how to host international conference calls with ease:

In addition to the normal method of accessing a conference via phone, one very convenient free optional feature customers enjoy is to use the Connect App.  Essentially this is another option to access a conference call using a web-enabled device.

The Connect App work from smartphones and PC’s or Mac desktops.

Connect tools let users quickly schedule, start/join and manage their audio conferences and Web Meetings.

These tools provide an option to have the bridge call the user instead of having to dial an access number, enter a passcode or chairperson PIN, saving time joining a call and avoiding incorrectly entered numbers for the Toll-Free, access code or PIN.

These Connect tools also provide the same functionality to participants when the meeting is scheduled using the free Calendar Tool.   If you are also using Web Meeting, meetings can easily be started or joined from the same invitation/link.

1. Use a world time zone map or calculator to determine the best time for the majority of your call’s participants. It’s not always possible for all participants to attend your live call during local business hours. However, you may be able to find a time that works well for most attendees.

2. Choose a conference call service provider that specializes in helping businesses host international conference calls. Ideally, the provider you choose will support all of the countries involved as well as offer affordable rates. Keep in mind that some countries have higher international calling costs than others. To contain these costs, consider using the service provider’s “dial out” feature. By dialing participants directly, you will get a much lower per minute rate. Dial out can usually be pre-programmed so that those calls will be placed automatically by the conference calling system.

3. Choose local or toll-free numbers for your participants’ countries. One of the biggest challenges you will encounter when you host international conference calls involves providing access to the conference room. This is because each county has its own unique calling conventions. A toll-free number in the United States, for example, doesn’t work in Italy. The trick is to provide callers with either local or toll-free numbers that work in their respective countries. These numbers will then connect to the global conference call.

4. Record the call. When you host international conference calls, there’s usually an option to record the call. By all means, do so. You never know when you might want to listen to it again or share it with others. For example, you may want to use the recording for training purposes or have the call transcribed and translated. Participants who were unable to attend the call in real time could listen to the call after the fact. Recordings are also helpful for those who speak a different language as a first language. By providing a recording of the call, they can go back and listen to sections that they had a hard time keeping up with originally.

When you host international conference calls, many challenges can be overcome by choosing a global conference call service provider that specializes in overseas teleconferencing.

Learn more about hosting international conference calls here

View details about Conference Calling here

Virtual Meeting Service | Old school audio conference versus virtual meetings.

Many international collaborators rely on email for corresponding with others due to time zone differences. While email gets the job done, there’s often a large lag time.

Try a Branded (your brand) Virtual Workplace meeting service.

Specifically designed to accommodate teams that meet online.

It runs in a standard web browser and utilizes each participant’s onboard webcam and microphone and speakers. No phone access numbers need to be dialed.

There are no downloads to install, attendees simply arrive at a URL to join.

It enables Virtual Meetings with video conferencing, collaboration spaces, communities, events, at your own space with your own domain, logo, and content.

It’s like Zoom on steroids. Use it internationally from countries with decent broadband.

You can get details and a free trial today

International Conference Calls or Virtual Meeting ServiceThe Advantages and Disadvantages of International Conference Calls

International conferencing provides business professionals, entrepreneurs, investors, celebrities, journalists, and other individuals with international contacts a cost-effective means of collaborating with their associates in other countries.

Using an international conferencing service provider allows for feature-rich collaboration, low per minute calling rates, and crystal clear connections. Whether you need to host international conferencing events on a regular basis or periodically, you can receive numerous benefits when you start holding conference calls.

As with most everything, a few downsides exist. However, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages of international conference calls.

The Advantages of International Conferencing and virtual meeting service

Less Time Traveling – More Time Collaborating: While meeting in person is certainly desirable, it’s not always practical. With international conferencing, you can interact with your global contacts in a group environment without having to leave the country. Instead of spending a good portion of your business week in airports, on international flights, and in expensive hotel rooms, pick up the phone, hold your teleconference, and get to the heart of the matter. Your call can last as long as you need it to last. Even if you spend eight full hours in a teleconference, you’ll still be ahead of the game thanks to the ability to make the call from your office.

Dramatically Lower Collaboration Costs: Obviously, eliminating international travel also eliminates international travel costs, making international conferencing economically appealing. In addition to cutting your own travel expenses, you won’t need to rent meeting room space to accommodate attendees. Everyone simply dials into the international conference call from their own offices, homes, or other locations.

Review and Share Your Teleconference: You can record your international conference call with just a button click. Use the MP3 file to review the conference later or share it with colleagues who were unable to attend the call at its scheduled time. Depending on the nature of the call, you might even want to create a podcast out of it or package it into an informational or coaching product.

International Conferencing Allows for Real-Time Collaboration

Many international collaborators rely on email for corresponding with others due to time zone differences. While email gets the job done, there’s often a large lag time. Using international conferencing, you can collaborate with others in real-time. Unfortunately, this is also one of the cons of international conferencing in that some participants may need to participate in the call outside of their normal business hours.

Teleconferencing Allows for More Personal Interactions: Being able to communicate with others over the phone allows for more personal interactions. Not only can you break the ice and get to know one another over the phone, you can hear each other’s voice inflections. Voice calls result in fewer misunderstandings than email.

The Cons of International Conferencing

Clearly, international conferencing is an excellent choice for anyone who regularly communicates with international contacts. However, there are a few disadvantages you should be aware of. Fortunately, these disadvantages of international conferencing can be overcome.

Since there are nearly 230 countries in the world, no conference call company can provide a local access number everywhere worldwide.  That said, if your global conference call plan has a worldwide dial-out feature, the chairperson can easily call the participant through the international bridge and instantly add that guest to the call.

All that’s required is the participant’s international phone number, landline or mobile to dial-out to.

Below are the toll-free and local access number countries offered with the Expanded International Conference Call plan.

This plan also includes the global dial-out feature so there is never a reason to be concerned about whether an access number is available in a country because the moderator can always dial-out to any country.

View more details about the Expanded Global Conference Call Plan here

Time Differences Can Make Scheduling a Conference Call Challenging: If you’re in Los Angeles and the people you need to meet with are in London, Australia, Japan, and India, scheduling international conferencing is going to be challenging. Some attendees will need to call into the teleconference at a time that is outside of their normal business hours. However, attendees do not need to remain in their offices late at night in order to participate. They can call from any phone, anywhere they may be.

Dialing Conventions Vary from Country to Country: Your international collaborators are used to dialing phone numbers a certain way. Giving them an international phone number to call can cause confusion, require operator assistance, and potentially deter participation due to cost concerns. You can overcome this disadvantage by using an international conferencing service that issues local access numbers or local toll free numbers. Each participant will be given a phone number local to their country. Opt for toll free access if you do not want your participants to pay to participate in the conference.

Calling Rates are High for Some Countries: As the host of an international toll free conference call, you’re right to be concerned about the per minute calling rates for some countries. You may be used to paying less than a nickel per minute for long distance calls and be shocked at some of the rates for other countries. Check the rates for the countries involved in your teleconference and highlight those that you consider too high. For those, use the moderator dial-out feature instead of having those participants call your toll free number. Moderator dial-out means you will call them (and you’ll pay quite a bit less as a result). You can pre-program moderator dial-out so that you do not need to scramble at the last minute to gather everyone into your teleconference.

Meet with your team, partners and associates using virtual meeting service.

International Conferencing Can Get Loud: Imagine a conference call with 20 people, all with co-workers chatting, phones ringing, or dogs barking in the background. That call would indeed get noisy. Fortunately, mute and unmute features are easy to use and teach to the group. If any users fail to mute their lines when not speaking, the moderator can mute those lines individually.

As you can see, the advantages of international conferencing definitely outweigh the disadvantages. Plus, the disadvantages are easy to workaround with the right international conferencing plan or a virtual meeting service.

Learn more….

Lebanon Conference Call for Easy International Collaboration

Host a Lebanon Conference Call by activating an account for toll-free international conference calling service.

Doing so enables using the modern telecommunications network and low per minute international conference call rates to countries around the world.  All of your attendees can join your call no matter where they may be located.

Your callers, whether they’re loved ones or business associates, dial a toll-free number to connect to your conference call.

With lower rates and a superior phone connection, you can enjoy your conversation without requiring others to pay for the call. You can even record it if desired.

Here’s How a Lebanon Conference Call Works

Sign up for an international conference calling service with low per minute rates from Lebanon to the countries of your choice. Use your customer portal to have the conferencing bridge ring your phone to enter your conference room.  Then join your international attendees on a global conference call.

Enjoy a superior Lebanon Conference Call with high-quality audio connections.

Lebanon Telecommunications

Lebanon’s telecommunications network was nearly destroyed during its civil war. However, repairs are nearly complete according to the CIA World Fact Book. Lebanon’s teledensity is right at 100 main and mobile phone lines (combined) per 100 people. As of 2011, 900,000 main lines were in use in Lebanon.

The country is home to over 3.3 million mobile subscribers. Lebanon is connected internationally via coaxial cable to Syria, submarine cable to Egypt, Syria, and Cyprus, and two Intelsat satellite earth stations. If you live, work, or travel frequently in Lebanon, you have several options for making international phone calls from Lebanon such as international calling cards which are extremely popular.

Lebanon Conference Call Features

119 worldwide access numbers

Lebanon dial-out feature

Activation fee = None

Monthly fees = $0.00

No contract term

24 hour customer and operator support

Superb quality international toll free network

Automatic attendance reports

Free MP3 session recordings

Initiate conference calls via Global Toll-Free numbers

Add additional conference call rooms for other users

Monthly PDF itemized invoice

Free mobile app for easy conference call access

You can host or attend international conference calls from the following Lebanon cities: Beirut, Ra’s Bayru-t, Tripoli, Sidon or any other city that can access the Lebanon toll-free number.

Optionally the chairperson or attendee can use the web ‘Connect’ feature to trigger a callback to his/her phone to enter the Lebanon conference call.

As an example, your office in Lebanon can host a conference call with your potential client located in Singapore or Dubai and a designer located in India and a founding partner in Turkey or the U.S. or any other worldwide countries.

Examples of Businesses Headquartered in Lebanon

BML Istisharat Cleartag Koein Cre8mania

Central Bank of Lebanon


Bank Byblos Bank

Fransabank Credit Libanais

American University of Beirut (AUB)

Universit Saint-Joseph (USJ)

Ecole Suprieure des Affaires (ESA)

Beirut Arab University (BAU)

Chteau Kefraya Chteau Ksara Tabbah Aishti Landmark Group

MEDGULF LIA insurance (Libano Arabe sal)

Credit Libanais d’Assurances et de Rassurances (CLA)


Dar Al Handasah Rafik El Khoury and Partners

ERGA (Elie Randa Gebrayel Architects)

Matta Associs Hayek Group

Malia International

Khoury Contracting

Kettaneh Construction

GIFCO Net Logistics (Net Holding Group)

Red Logistics HOLDAL

Transmed Makie Company for Commerce

Distribution Lebanese

Association for Sustainable Energy

Sakr Power Group Liban

Ciel Acemco Assiotex Group

Fax | A Brief History of Sending a Facsimile in Telecommunications

Fax in the History of Telecom

Fax in contemporary times

Fax in the era of email, Pinterest, SnapChat, and Instagram, we’re constantly sharing pictures with people around the world.

Obviously, it wasn’t always this way. Alexander Bain, an amateur clockmaker, is credited as being the first to send images over telegraph wires.

His invention, the electric printing telegraph, was patented in 1843, and gave rise to what would later become known as fax machines.

Using his clockmaking skills and telegraph technology, Bain created a transmitter that used a stylus mounted on a pendulum to scan the images on a flat metal surface. Though he patented his invention, he never demonstrated it.

The first person to demonstrate facsimile technology was Frederick Bakewell at the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London. Bakewell used rotating cylinders to transmit and receive images.

The image to be transmitted was written on tinfoil which was wrapped around the transmitting cylinder. A pendulum-mounted stylus scanned the image’s surface, transmitting the signal to a receiving pendulum and cylinder wrapped with a chemically treated paper.

It took about a dozen years before the first commercial facsimile machine came into being. Giovanni Caselli invented the “pantelegraph” which blended an existing machine that could copy words and images, the pantograph, with the telegraph.

A regulating clock was used to improve the synchronization between the sending and receiving units.

In 1860, Caselli demonstrated his pantelegraph to none-other-than Napoleon. By 1865, the pantelegraph became the first commercial facsimile machine, transmitting images between Paris and Lyon, and later, to Marseilles in 1867.

As with many forms of technology, fax technology evolved over the years with numerous inventors contributing along the way.

For example, Edouard Belin’s 1913 Bélinographe incorporated an electric eye which measured the intensity of light to impress images onto photographic paper, much like modern laser printers and copiers do today.

The Bélinographe transmitted images over phone lines. In the early 1920s, the Bélinographe was modified to transmit images over radio waves.

Companies like Western Union, AT&T, and the Associated Press began using “radio photo” and “wire photo” services soon after.

The early wirephoto machines were large, expensive, and required dedicated telephone lines. More portable units were developed.

In some countries such as Japan and Israel, fax machines remain a crucial business and government communications technology.

In others, they have fallen out of favor due to newer, more effective telecommunications tools such as email and online file-sharing. Meanwhile, many businesses continue to rely on faxing due to regulatory requirements.

While you can go to any office supply or computer store and buy a fax machine, many people rely on yet another iteration of the fax machine, computer-based or online faxing.

Rather than using a dedicated machine to send or receive faxes, virtual faxing involves sending or receiving faxes via a computer or mobile device. Sending a fax in this manner typically involves uploading the document, entering the recipient’s fax number, and clicking the send button.

Receiving faxes involves linking a virtual fax number to an email address whereby any faxes sent to that number will be forwarded to the designated email address as a PDF attachment.

Fax machines have come a long way since a clockmaker first tinkered with the concept in the mid-1800s. They continue to play an important role in communicating across distances.

Global Virtual Numbers with International Fax Capabilities

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Remote Meetings Become Global

Consider taking a workshop approach where team members contribute their ideas or work together on a quick task.

There are plenty of good reasons to hold remote meetings with your team ranging from geographical obstacles, cost concerns, and practicality to adapting to a more mobile, tech-savvy workforce, pandemic isolation, and more.

Consider taking a workshop approach where team members contribute their ideas or work together on a quick task.

Whatever the reason, remote meetings, like their physical counterparts, must be planned and managed to ensure that they are both productive and engaging especially if it’s an international conference call remote meeting.

Engagement is especially important with remote meetings because it’s easy for participants to multi-task, especially if they are not using their webcams in a video conference or have their microphones muted in an audio conference.

In these situations, you can’t see or hear your attendees. All you know is that they joined the web or audio conference. Making your remote meetings more engaging and collaborative is crucial. Here are a few tips to do just that.

  • Encourage the use of webcams — This is a great way to build more personalized relationships amongst a remote team that might never actually meet in person.  By its nature, it will also reduce, if not eliminate, the temptation to work on other tasks during the video conference.
  • Include collaborative activities — While there’s certainly a time for relaying company news and decisions made to the team, try to avoid using remote meetings solely as a broadcast channel. Consider taking a workshop approach where team members contribute their ideas or work together on a quick task. You could also include polls or text-based chats to gather feedback on a given topic.
  • Use web conferencing tools to bring the meeting to life — From screen-sharing and whiteboards to YouTube videos, chats, and collaborative notes, modern web conferencing tools enable the entire team to view the same multimedia information simultaneously on their own screens. Make use of these tools. Remember that you can also pass the presenter controls during a web conference, allowing others to share their screens as needed. Allowing participants to share their works-in-progress or illustrate a complex scenario can improve engagement while providing richer insights to the team.
  • Manage the remote meeting’s clock — Physical and remote meetings alike have long had a bad reputation for being overly long, boring, and a general waste of time. This is a tough perception to overcome, but it can be done by carefully planning the agenda to ensure it’s relevant and productive and then managing time so your meeting doesn’t run long.
  • You’ll need to allocate enough time — to cover each agenda item sufficiently and then actively moderate the meeting. When the time is up for an agenda item, quickly wrap up the topic and move on. Consistently starting and ending your remote meetings on time is crucial in showing respect for your participants’ time and improving their perception of the meeting’s value.

Remote meetings using web conferencing technologies make it easy for virtual and mobile teams to collaborate. Try Video Pro web/video conferencing for free for 30 days and hold more engaging meetings with your team

International Conferencing Connect with Experts

It’s no longer necessary to fly (or sail) across oceans or traverse continents in order to speak to an international subject matter expert or gather a team of them together into a conference.

How to Use International Conferencing Connect with Subject Matter Experts from Around the World

International Conferencing Connect Use Case | The world has become much smaller thanks to advances in telecommunications. As a result, teams on assignments have much easier access to the brightest minds on the planet.

It’s no longer necessary to fly (or sail) across oceans or traverse continents in order to speak to an international subject matter expert or gather a team of them together into a conference.

Global conferencing tools make it possible to gather in a group audio call at a moment’s notice.

Best of all, you don’t need expensive equipment or a long-term commitment to a pricey conference calling plan. You do not even need a computer, just your phone.

Here’s what you need to know about using global conference calling to connect with subject matter experts.

Global Audio Conferencing Equipment — No computer required. All you and your subject matter experts need is a telephone.

Our international conference calling service uses modern fiberoptic PSTN telecommunications networks to deliver crystal clear audio to all participants no matter where in the world they are located.

This is traditional, tried-and-true technology and not VoIP which often causes glitches, dropouts, echoes, and subpar audio quality.  Any phone, including landlines, mobile phones, and Skype, will work with our plans.

Global Access Numbers — Subject matter experts are providing you with a valuable service by sharing their knowledge.

The last thing you want to do is inconvenience them with an expensive international phone call. Our global conferencing plans have local and toll-free access numbers for more than 150 countries around the world.

Bring an expert on the call

For example, if the subject matter expert is located in Paris, France, she can dial a Paris phone number in order to join your conference call. If another expert is joining you from Dubai, he can dial a toll-free phone number for the United Arab Emirates.

Moderator Dial-out — There may be occasions where you’ll need to manually dial the subject matter expert.

For example, if you need an archaeologist’s to share his expert opinion about a discovery made on a construction site, but first need to discuss other aspects of the project with your team, you might want to begin the conference with your team and then call the archaeologist mid-way through the conference call.

Respecting experts time

This respects the expert’s time by not requiring him to sit through conversations that are not relevant.

Our global conference calling plans include a dial-out function where you can quickly and easily dial a participant and then join them into the conference call.

Recording Global Audio Conferences — It’s a good practice to inform participants that the call is being recorded.

Depending on the nature of the call, your subject matter expert may have some conditions on whether the call can be recorded or how you can and cannot use the recording.

If there are no objections, make the most of your time with subject matter experts by recording your conference calls. This is a simple matter of pressing *2 on your handset.

Collaborating with subject matter experts is easy when you have a global conference calling plan.

It’s also affordable thanks to our low rates, pay-as-you-go pricing, and contract-free arrangement. Simply pay for the calls you host as you host them. You can cancel at any time.

Give international conferencing a try by signing up today.

Team Conference Call Collaboration

team conference call is pay-as-you-go international conferencing plan ideal for conducting global team collaboration calls

Team conference call has become increasingly common as more businesses build distributed teams. You may have customer service and support teams, graphic designers, regional sales professionals, project managers, traveling executives, and freelance workers scattered around the globe. The ability to communicate in real-time with your global team is essential, and technologies such as web, video, and audio conferencing allow you to do just that.

However, challenges still exist. Below are a few examples:

  • Audio quality — Audio quality is often a concern when speaking with others in far-off lands. If you can’t hear one another or must constantly repeat yourselves, the entire audio conference suffers. It takes much more mental energy, and there’s a great deal of uncertainty as to what was said or what needs to be done.
  • Connections — Conference calls are a simple matter when you’re conferencing with someone in your own country. They’re a little more difficult when attendees are located elsewhere as international long-distance rates can be a barrier.
  • Meeting productivity — Poorly run meetings are rarely productive and generally considered a waste of time. Common problems include: starting the meeting late, spending too much time on some topics and running out of time to tackle the others, going off track on tangents, and lack of focus by attendees who may be multi-tasking or calling in from a distracting environment.

These are but a few of the challenges involved in global team conference call collaboration. Fortunately, with intention, you can overcome them.

Team Conference Call | The number one action you can take to improve your global team collaboration calls is to improve the audio quality.

If your current audio conferencing service consistently suffers from echoes, delays, interference, drop-outs, hollow sounds, garbled audio, line noise, or other issues, switching to one based on PSTN global telecommunication networks of the highest caliber will drastically improve your global team collaboration calls.

Other steps you can take to improve audio during your calls include using “broadcast” mode when only the leader needs to be heard, using a decent headset and microphone, asking attendees to mute their lines unless speaking, and muting any noisy, open lines whenever possible. 

It’s also smart to use toll-free or local international access numbers so that your team members can dial in without having to bear the high costs of international long distance.

For example, your graphic designer in Barcelona could dial in using an access number local to Barcelona while your marketing director in Israel could dial in using an Israeli toll-free number.

Technology is a great place to start, but it doesn’t solve all of the problems. Improving the productivity of your team collaboration calls often requires improving your time management skills, developing a realistic agenda, and sticking to it.

You may need to actively moderate the call, bringing the focus back to the topic at hand and wrapping up agenda items at the appointed time so that you can cover everything without the meeting running over.

Our affordable, pay-as-you-go international conferencing plans are ideal for holding global team collaboration calls. We offer 150 toll-free and local access numbers and the finest audio quality from PSTN global telecommunications networks.

There are no contracts, no monthly minimums, no monthly service fees, and no early termination fees. Give us a try and take an important step toward improving global collaboration.

Stakeholder Conference Call | How to Prepare for International Attendees

Staying in touch with investors

It’s as important as ever, and conference calls are an effective means of sharing and gathering information. In today’s ever-connected world, it’s possible that some of your stakeholders live or work in other countries.

stakeholder conference calls meeting

Conducting an international conference call for stakeholders’ bridges the distance, bringing everyone together in a group audio conference. If you need to communicate with an international group, these tips will help you prepare for holding your next global conference call.

Stakeholder Conference Call Possibilities

  • Offer your stakeholder conference call invitees a toll-free or local access number specific to their countries. Our global conferencing plan provides for international access with 150 access numbers for countries around the world.
  • Review and pare down your attendee list, making sure that only those who truly need to participate are invited. Think about who actually needs to be on the stakeholder conference call.
  • Prepare your materials. If you’ll be sharing documents or giving a presentation, consider using a web conference rather than a strictly audio conference. We offer web and video conferencing that works beautifully alongside our international conference calling plans. If you prefer an audio conference, send any materials and the conference call’s agenda to the stakeholders in advance so they can refer to them during the discussion.
  • Rehearse your part of the conference call. Running through a few rehearsals will help to build your confidence as well as fine-tune your presentation. It can also help prepare you mentally for the conversations you’re likely to have during your conference call.
  • Make sure all attendees have access to the conference call. If any of your stakeholders are located in countries that do not have local access numbers, you can use our leader dial-out function to manually join them into your global conference call. Alternatively, one of our operators can join these participants into your call on your behalf.
  • Kick-off your stakeholder conference call by quickly going over a few housekeeping tasks. For example, you might want to review how to mute and unmute phone lines or let participants know that you’re recording the call.
  • You’ll also want to go over the objectives of the call and set expectations for how the audio conference will progress. For example, if you’ve reserved a portion of the call for questions and answers, let the attendees know that they’ll have time to ask questions at the end of the call.

Whether serving a group, corporate, organization, members or other category of stakeholder, businesses can use stakeholder conference calls to ensure their investors stay informed no matter where in the world they may be located such as Switzerland, U.S., Australia, Canada, Germany or anywhere globally.

Holding a stakeholder conference call is a great way to keep investors in the loop. Since you can easily record your audio conference calls, you can keep a detailed record for posterity or share your recordings with stakeholders who were unable to attend your audio conference live. Our international conferencing plans offer an affordable, contract-free way to host global conference calls.

Learn more

Multi Country Conference Call Simplified

Multi Country Conference Call

Most business professionals are well versed in the art of conference calls. Whether using a service or your phone system’s built-in conference calling feature, hosting or joining a conference call has become second nature. However, when you need to communicate with participants from other countries, it’s more complicated. These attendees cannot simply dial the same 800 number to join your call because when you conduct a multi country conference call, every country will have its own toll-free access number.


There are workarounds to this problem, some of which are quite complex, offer substandard audio quality, or require international attendees to incur high international toll charges for each minute they participate in your global conference call. Hassles, costs, and complexity are a recipe for non-usage, which means you won’t be able to benefit from group audio calls or build the type of collaboration you’d like.

Here are a few tips for simplifying your global conference calls.

Use “Dial Out” to Patch International Attendees into Your multi country conference call

If your phone system supports it, and if you only have a few international attendees, consider dialing them directly and manually joining them into your conference calls. This simplifies joining the conference call for your international participants. However, it does make your own conferencing tasks a little more complicated. Fortunately, if you use our global conferencing service, you can pre-enter your list of dial-out contacts and schedule dial-out. If you frequently hold global conference calls with the same group of individuals, you can set this up once and then be set for all of your future calls.

Establish an International Conferencing Routine

Conference calling gets easier with practice. While you may stumble the first few times, you’ll eventually find the sweet spot. Once you find a good time that works well for most participants, consider holding future conferences at the same time of day. For example, if you want to host weekly calls with your remote team, find the best time, and then hold all future calls on that same day and time. This allows everyone to get into the habit of joining your calls every week at a set time. This also helps them to keep that time slot clear, avoiding future scheduling conflicts.

Use our Connect App

Tired of dialing access numbers and entering passcodes? Though they’re easy enough to deal with, joining a call with one click is that much easier! Our Connect app is free and easy for moderators and participants alike.

Use a Service with Excellent Audio Quality

If you’ve ever tried to hold a conversation with someone over a poor audio connection, you know how important this is. It’s even more important with a group audio call with people located around the world.

Our global conferencing service uses modern fiber optic PSTN networks and not VoIP to ensure that your conversations are crystal clear, every time. With 119 local and toll-free access numbers for countries around the world, our international conferencing service makes it easy for attendees to join your conference calls. From their perspective, it’s as easy as joining a local conference call. From yours, it’s seamless — and the audio quality sounds as if you’re speaking to someone in your own community.

If you want to make it even easier, you can use the connect app or set up automated dial out for a future multi country conference call.

Additional features, such as free MP3 call recordings, auto-generated attendance reports, Outlook Add-in, free online conference viewer, and 24/7 live operator assistance round out the service. Best of all, our global audio conferencing plans are affordable and offered on a pay-as-you-go basis without contracts.

Learn more

Global Audio Conference Calls in 30 Minutes or Less

The more complex the issue, and the more people who need to weigh in, the more time you will likely need.

Global Audio Conference Calls can be productive in 30 minutes or less. We’ve all wasted plenty of time attending meetings and conference calls that rambled on for much longer than they needed to be. Not only are longer-than-necessary conference calls boring and unproductive, they can be costly. Costs can include your per minute rates per attendee as well as lost productivity costs and potential dings to your relationship or credibility if the meeting is overly long and poorly managed. If you prefer to get the message across and then get moving, these tips can help you host a global conference in 30 minutes or less.

  • Decide on the topics — Understanding the purpose of the global conference call will drive what you talk about. For example, if your call is about new product packaging and compliance with various countries’ labeling requirements, it probably doesn’t make sense to spend time talking about your company’s new sexual harassment prevention policy.


  • Duration — Mull over the issue at hand and pick a suitable duration for your global audio conference call such as 15, 20, or 30 minutes. The more complex the issue, and the more people who need to weigh in, the more time you will likely need. Attending a 15-to-30-minute audio conference is doable for most people. Keeping your meetings short forces you to prioritize topics and manage the time you have together on the call.


  • Build your agenda based on the desired duration — Once you have a time frame in mind, organize your agenda items to fit within it. There are two ways you could approach this:
    • Start with short, fast updates. In a matter of minutes, you could have the bulk of your agenda items taken care of, leaving the rest of the time to focus on your most pressing issue. This approach is helpful if you frequently find that you run out of time before you get to the minor updates.
    • Start with the most important agenda items and end with the least important ones. This approach is helpful when you want to ensure that the most important topic gets addressed thoroughly.


  • Set realistic time limits for each agenda item — You may have a good idea about how much time you need to present your own topics, but you might not know how much time your other presenters need, so ask them. Another idea is to estimate their time and then ask if it’s sufficient. For example, you could say, “I’ve allotted you 7 minutes to discuss the issue during our conference call. Is that enough time? Too much time?” By communicating the time limits with your co-presenters in advance, they’ll be better able to prepare their messages to fit within the allotted time. Include a few minutes at the end to field questions and wrap up the call.


  • Global audio conference actively managed — This means starting the meeting promptly and adhering to the time limits you’ve set. Let your attendees know how long the call will last and that you want to respect their time. They’ll appreciate a tightly run meeting that ends on time.


  • Note any action steps and reiterate them at the end of the call — A productive global conference call is one where everyone now understands the issue and knows what’s expected of them moving forward. 
  • Holding shorter, more frequent global conference calls is a great way to improve productivity and communication with a global team. The more you do it, the better you’ll get at keeping the meeting running smoothly and on time. You’ll get a better sense of how much time your agenda items require, leading to potentially shorter audio conferences in the future.

US Conference Call from Europe

Toll free phone numbers do not work outside of their regions, so the toll free number you’d normally use will be useless to your American participants.

Though you might be in Europe, you may have business associates in USA. While regular phone calls, emails, video chats, and other forms of communication certainly get the job done, what happens when you need to host a conference call? Because some of your contacts are in the United States and others are in Europe (or even somewhere else in the world) your conference call just became global — and not all conferencing services support international conference calls. Here are your options:

1. Provide your USA callers with a direct line into your conference call. Toll free phone numbers do not work outside of their regions, so the toll free number you’d normally use will be useless to your American participants. However, most will balk at having to dial an international long distance phone number in order to participate in an audio conference. It’s potentially costly, and the dialing process unfamiliar.

2. Use our pay-as-you-go USA – Europe audio conferencing service. Our global conferencing plans solve the problem of access beautifully. Rather than requiring your attendees to dial internationally, we provide them with local and toll free numbers specific to their countries, in this case USA. They simply dial a familiar-looking local or toll free number and are instantly connected to your global conference call. Participants located in other countries can join too! In fact, we have local and toll free numbers for more than 150 countries. For those located in the few countries lacking access, a dial-out option is available, allowing you or one of our friendly operators to dial them directly and then join them into the global conference call.

Here’s how to host your first USA conference call from Europe:

  1. Decide to host the conference call.
  2. Invite participants from around the world.
  3. Join the call by dialing a local access number and entering the conference PIN.
  4. Your callers from USA and around the world dial in using their own local access numbers.
  5. Use the live event viewer, Connect app, or keypad to control various aspects of the global conference call such as recording the call or muting a noisy line.
  6. Interact with your attendees.
  7. After the call, receive an auto-generated attendance report and an MP3 recording of the call (if you recorded it).

The Best Choice for USA to Europe Conference Calls

Option number two is by far the better choice for hosting USA conference calls from Europe, and it’s not necessary to get locked into a long-term audio conferencing plan. In fact, you could use our service for a single USA – Europe conference call and let that be the end of it if so desired. Our plans are perfect for both one-time and ongoing conference calling. There are no contracts, no monthly fees, no minimums, and no penalties. Simply pay for the time you use and that’s it.

Best of all, our plan is loaded with desirable features including:

  • Crystal clear sound quality
  • Global PSTN network
  • MP3 recordings
  • Security features
  • Free Connect app
  • Free live event viewer
  • Automatic attendance reports
  • Reservation free
  • Outlook add-in
  • 24-hour US-based live operators
  • Compatible with landlines, mobile phones, VoIP phones, and Skype
  • Competitive per minute rates
  • No contracts, cancel any time

You could be hosting a USA to Europe conference call in a matter of minutes. Sign up is fast and easy. Get started now.

Music On Hold History

Origins of Telecom: The History of On-Hold Music

Whenever you call a business or join a conference call for that matter, chances are you will hear music or a recorded message when placed on hold. It’s practically a given, but this wasn’t always the case. Before on-hold music and messaging came about, all you’d hear was silence. For all you knew, you’d been hung up on! Your only choices were to wait and see if your call would be picked up or hang up and try again later.

Music on hold was born out of an accidental discovery by factory owner Alfred Levy in the early 1960s. The phone lines in his factory were somehow picking up a radio signal from the radio station nearby, and callers could hear music when they were put on hold. It turns out that a loose wire touching a metal girder in the building had turned the building into a crude radio receiver. Inspiration struck and Levy’s entrepreneurial spirit kicked in. He patented his “telephone hold program system” a few years later in 1966.

Levy’s system was intended for subscribers who had multiple incoming extensions or trunk lines as a means of placating callers who had been placed on hold. When placing a caller on hold, traditional phone systems switch the incoming call to a holding circuit rather than to a telephone instrument. Levy’s system adds a program line to the holding circuit, allowing a “program signal” to be introduced. Levy described several suitable sources of program material as “a phonograph, a wire recorder, a tape recorder, a magnetic drum recorder, a live program, a broadcast, i.e. radio program, or a commercial program line such as is employed to supply music to establishments, e.g. restaurants and stores.”

Adding music to the holding system addressed several common problems callers encountered when calling a business and being placed on hold. Rather than hearing dead air and wondering if their call had been abandoned, they now heard music and knew they were still connected. In addition, music alleviated some of the tedium of being on hold.

As with many telecom inventions, Levy’s idea was further expanded upon over the years. No longer seen as just a way to reassure callers that they hadn’t been forgotten, other visionaries saw the marketing potential of “messaging on hold.” According to The Message On Hold Network, the idea for Message On Hold came from listening to an on-hold radio transmission during a call to the bank. A radio commercial came on while on hold, sparking the idea for creating marketing messages to play while callers were holding. Early devices included audio cassettes, much like answering machines of the era. As audio technology changed, so did the devices used for playing messages on hold. These devices have included CDs, digital chips, MP3 files, and now, streaming audio.

It’s important to note that on-hold music and messaging devices that play copyrighted music, whether via an audio cassette, CD, MP3 file, streaming service, or radio broadcast, must obtain appropriate licenses via the three performing rights organizations: BMI, ASCAP, and SESAC. These licenses allow them to play copyrighted music to the public. Some music on hold companies build licensing into their service fees, but not all do.

Today, on hold messaging is believed to be the most effective. According to stats compiled by the On Hold Messaging Association, callers stay on the line up to 25 percent longer with on hold messaging than with silences or background music and up to 17 percent longer than with radio. Keeping callers on the line is vital, as 34 percent of callers who hang up won’t call back.

Levy was on to something back in the 1962. He knew that callers didn’t like sitting on hold wondering if they’d been forgotten. His invention has helped make hold times tolerable and paved the way to the creation of another effective marketing channel.








International Toll Free Phone Number

Quickly set up a convenient, professional communication channel for your international customers to reach your business. All calls are routed over modern PSTN telecommunications networks for the best audio quality available.

International Phone Number User
International Toll Free Phone Number

How to Own an International Phone Number

Are you doing business overseas or thinking about entering a global market? Owning your own international toll free phone number is a smart way to create a local presence in another country without having to establish a physical office. In fact, you don’t even need a physical phone because your new international toll free phone number is 100 percent virtual. Here’s how it works.

  1. Start by visiting our toll free phone number database where you’ll choose the exact type of global phone number you need for a specific country such as a toll-free number, universal toll-free number, or geographic phone number. For example, if you want to own an international toll-free number for the United Kingdom, select United Kingdom followed by toll-free or universal toll-free. Your new UK free phone number will be displayed upon activation. Note, you can also choose local virtual phone numbers for specific cities within many of the different countries.
  2. After selecting the target country and virtual phone number type, enter your destination number. This is the phone that you’ll be receiving your virtual phone calls on. It could be your main office or call center phone number, your mobile phone number, your home phone number, or any other phone number of your choice. You can change this designated number at any time.

Once you’ve entered your destination number, you can either sign up for a free trial or view rates. Rates vary by country and by the number of prepaid minutes you select. However, rest assured, our rates are extremely competitive.

Own Your International Toll-Free Number for As Long As You Want

Since our international toll-free numbers are prepaid and offered without a contract, you can own your new global toll-free number for as long as you’d like. If you need it for a long-term project, you’ll appreciate features such as rollover minutes and our API on-demand integration. If you need your new global toll free phone number for a shorter duration, you’ll love that you can cancel at any time without penalties.

Benefits of Owning a Global Toll-Free Phone Number

There are many reasons why you might want to own your own global toll free number — and just as many benefits. Here are just a few:

  • Quickly set up a convenient, professional communication channel for your international customers to reach your business. All calls are routed over modern PSTN telecommunications networks for the best audio quality available.
  • Create a local business presence in countries around the world without long-term contracts or physical offices.
  • Set up an automatic greeting and control how inbound calls are handled based on time of day and other parameters.
  • Create a menu system diverting callers to the best person to help them based on their language or other factors.
  • Start doing business in multiple countries while keeping your operations centralized.

Getting started with international toll-free numbers is easy and affordable. Try it for free today.

Global Phone Meetings

The Power of Global Phone Meetings

Did you know that a variety of recovery groups use global phone meetings as a means to provide ongoing support to people (and their families) with addictions? This has become a popular tool for support groups, enabling anyone in the world to get support from therapists and their peers.

Whether you’re involved in the recovery industry or not, if you regularly interact with a global audience, consider the benefits of global phone meetings:

  • Easy access — There’s no special equipment needed. Participants can dial in on any type of telephone, from anywhere in the world. Our international conferencing plans include local and toll-free access to 150 countries around the globe. This means there’s no need to remember country codes, exit codes, or calling card numbers.
  • Ad hoc or scheduled meetings — It’s up to you how often and when to hold your global phone meetings. If you like the idea of regularity, you might set up your global phone meetings to take place at the same time, such as every other Tuesday at 8:00 pm GMT. On the other hand, if a matter is urgent, you could initiate a call at any given time.
  • One-to-many phone meetings — Global phone meetings are great for instances where you need to get your message out to many people. Setting your meeting up in “lecture” mode enables you to give an audio presentation over the phone to a group of listeners who’ve called in from around the globe. Think of it like a live podcast where your listeners will have the opportunity to interact with you once you’ve delivered the message and opened up the lines for questions.
  • No travel required — All participants including the host call into the global phone meeting from wherever it’s convenient. Some will join from their homes or offices while others may call from a cell phone while commuting to their jobs on a train or hanging out at their favorite coffee shop. Since there’s no need to travel, the typical expenses of hosting or joining a large meeting are eliminated.
  • Uses for global phone meetings range from the previously mentioned recovery and support group calls to international bidding conferences, global press conferences, business conference calls, small global calls amongst virtual team members, global crisis collaboration and response meetings, global church services, and more. In general, if you have people from around the world with whom you need to communicate, holding a global phone meeting is a great way to bring everyone together for real-time collaboration, planning, and strategizing.
  • What do you need to get started? An affordable, user-friendly international conference calling plan with exceptional audio quality and reliability. Our global conferencing plans take place on modern PSTN fiber optic telecommunications networks for the best quality and reliability and are offered on a pay-as-you-go, contract-free basis. Our rates are extremely competitive. In fact, you may be surprised at just how affordable it is to hold a global phone meeting.

The best way to determine if our international conferencing service is a good fit for your needs is to give it a try. Sign up today and host your first call in a matter of minutes. No contract, prepayment, no credit card required to activate account.

Canada Virtual Phone Number

Set Up a Canada Virtual Phone Number for Businesses Located in the USA

Bell Canada | Canada Virtual Phone Number

Many US businesses serve customers in Canada thanks to the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement and cordial relationships between the neighboring countries. While time zones and toll-free numbers are similar between the two countries, having local numbers for cities across Canada is a good way to establish your business as a desirable, “local” company. Setting up a Canada virtual number takes just minutes. Here’s what you need to know.

What Do We Mean by Canada Virtual Phone Number?

Global virtual phone numbers are a type of remote call forwarding that is specific to cities in countries around the world. They are not tied to a landline or building, but rather reside virtually. You can designate a ring to number (such as your main office or cell phone) as well as change that ring-to number as needed. Thus, you could get a local Toronto phone number for your customers in Ontario, Canada and receive those phone calls in Miami, Los Angeles, New York, or any other location in the United States (or the world for that matter).

To your callers in Canada, the virtual phone number works just like any other Canadian phone number. For those in the number’s local calling area, the call would not have any toll charges associated with it. Those outside the calling area, for example in Victoria dialing a Toronto number, would incur the same toll charges they would when calling another Canadian phone number in the designated city. You can also get a toll free or universal toll free number for Canada if desired.

Benefits of Getting a Canada Virtual Phone Number for Businesses in the US

There are several advantages to setting up a Canada virtual phone number including:

  • You appear more invested in the local community — Having a local prefix makes it appear as though you have a presence in the community. Many customers do not like calling 800 numbers and prefer calling local businesses. Having a virtual Canada phone number allows you to be more accessible to those customers without the expense of setting up shop in cities across Canada.
  • You can control how calls are routed and answered — If your main office in the USA has the capacity, you could set up call forwarding so that all incoming Canadian calls go through the main office. If you use a third-party call center, you could change the ring to number to the call center. Want calls to go to the main office during business hours and to an answering service or voicemail at night? No problem, simply set up “time of day” routing.
  • You can set up an advanced virtual PBX system with extensions — From individual extensions for customer service, shipping and receiving, and billing to recorded information, your Canada virtual phone number doubles as an advanced virtual PBX system.
  • You get fax forwarding, too — Need to receive faxes from people in Canada? There’s no need to order a separate Canada fax number or buy another fax machine. Our virtual Canada phone numbers include fax forwarding to the email address of your choice.
  • And more — Our global virtual phone number plans are loaded with helpful features.
  •  We offer virtual phone numbers for provinces across Canada including British Columbia, Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Québec, and Saskatchewan. Choose from toll-free and regional numbers and give our contract.
  • Try For Free

History of Call Boxes

Origins of Telecom: History of Call Boxes

Fire and police departments alike were early adopters of technology, using Morse code and telegraphs to communicate, sends alarms, or check in with the dispatch center. After the telephone was invented in 1876, telegraph communications eventually gave way to telephone-based call boxes. You may be familiar with the iconic blue police call boxes in the United Kingdom, but the still exist, take many shapes and forms. Here’s a quick look at the history of call boxes.

Used by Early Police

John Nelson Gamewell’s fire alarm telegraph changed communications for first responders as did the invention of the telephone. In 1877, the first police telephone in the United States was installed in Albany, New York, followed by actual use in Chicago in 1880. In subsequent years, other cities including Washington, DC, Detroit, Boston, and San Francisco installed their own call boxes. These cast iron boxes were typically mounted on posts and scattered throughout the city. Within the box was a telephone with a direct connection to the police station. In some cities, police and fire call boxes shared a post, with the police box painted blue on one side and the firebox painted red on the other.

Interestingly, in the United Kingdom, police boxes took the form of an enclosed kiosk with a door and windows. The telephone could be accessed from the outside while the interior was typically used as a small office by police officers for filling out reports or taking a short break. They could also be used as a mini detention center for detainees while waiting for a paddy wagon to arrive. Typical equipment housed inside the police boxes included first aid kits, fire extinguishers, and incident books.

Although police officers used the boxes to check in with dispatch. Boxes equipped with lights could alert patrol officers that they needed to call in for messages. The general public could also use police boxes to report crimes or request emergency assistance. For example, some call boxes used a series of predetermined telegraph signals for different situations such as “thieves,” “accident,” “murder” and so forth.

Modern Police Usage

Boxes continue to have their place in today’s world. California, for example, has 15,000 highway call boxes lining about 6,300 miles of highways and generating more than 100,000 phone calls per month. Bridge phones, which typically have a direct line to a crisis call center or suicide prevention hotline, have been installed on bridges with high suicide rates in an attempt to prevent suicide. Radio and mobile telecommunications have rendered traditional police boxes largely obsolete.

In summary, on college campuses across the country, you’ll find a modern version of the police call box in parking lots and other crime-prone areas. These are high tech, smart call boxes complete with two-way communications, security cameras, location mapping and more.







MicroLearning and Your Web Conferences

Micro learning is a short — think 2-5 minutes — targeted learning activity designed to achieve a specific outcome. It’s generally a standalone lesson rather than a part of a larger whole.

Incorporating Micro Learning into Your Web Conferences

Micro Learning and Your Web Conferences

Micro learning with web conferencing offers virtual teams a convenient way to interact despite physical distances. Whether you hold regular team meetings or periodic ad hoc meetings via web conferences, incorporating short segments into your meetings could be beneficial.

What is It?

Micro learning is a short — think 2-5 minutes — targeted learning activity designed to achieve a specific outcome. It’s generally a standalone lesson rather than a part of a larger whole.

According to an article on eLearningIndustry.com, the benefits of microlearning include:

  • Better engagement
  • Better retention of the concepts
  • Better transfer to the job
  • Faster development
  • Implementation on any device
  • Just-in-time learning 

Why Incorporate Micro Learning into Your Web Conferences?

Your virtual team could use micro learning for any number of activities such as professional development, soft skills development, or regulatory compliance. For example, if your team is working under a tight deadline, including a session on time management during your next virtual team web conference could be time well spent.

Remember, microlearning, by definition, is short, so it won’t be a huge time investment as far as the web conference itself goes. Allocate 5-7 minutes on your web conference agenda and make it a routine part of your regular meetings.

Consider using a comprehensive remote learning tool.

How to Create the Micro Learning Content

You’ll need to determine how to present the actual content. Both PowerPoint presentations and videos work well in a web conference, so consider either of those mediums. One way to quickly create content is to repurpose existing training content or your company’s policy manual, packaging portions of it into small nuggets of training. You could also assign individuals to deliver a short “talking head” presentation, sharing their insights and knowledge.

To increase buy-in and engagement, consider tasking team members to develop each meeting’s content on a rotating basis.

After the Web Conference — Create a Micro Learning Hub

Record your web conferences and use basic video editing software to cut the session into a standalone video. Upload each video to a private YouTube channel or your corporate intranet to create a library for easy access by current and future team members. Over time, this could prove to become a valuable resource.

Web conferencing brings your team together for all kinds of purposes from routine staff meetings and collaboration to brainstorming, problem-solving, and learning. Incorporating microlearning into your regular web conferences doesn’t take much extra time but could have a tremendous impact on your team’s performance by updating their knowledge and skills on a regular basis.