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

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.








Virtual Meeting

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 Video Pro.

Virtual Meeting

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

Virtual Meeting using desktop video conferencing tools make 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. However, 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 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 Video Pro. 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 chat box. The chat box 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:

  • Insert > Shape > Rectangle (drag to the desired size)
  • Animations > Fly-In
  • Effect Options > From Left
  • Timing Group > Duration (set to the designated time in seconds such as 600 seconds for ten minutes)
  • Start > (Choose either On Click or With Previous depending on your preferences)

Including an automatic timing element to 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.

These are five quick and easy ways to improve the productivity of your virtual meetings. Another way is to make sure you’re using a user-friendly video conferencing tool such as Video Pro. Try it for free for 30 days now.

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, micro learning, 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. 

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 micro learning 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.

Conference Call Interpreter

How to Add an Interpreter to an International Conference Call

Conference Call Interpreter | If you’re hosting an international conference call where attendees speak a language other than your own, it may be beneficial to hire an interpreter to provide interpretation services on your behalf. Adding the interpreter to your conference calls is relatively easy. Here’s what you need to know.

How to Add an Interpreter to an International Conference Call

Is an Interpreter or Translator necessary?

Your audience may or may not be bilingual, so it’s smart to poll participants in advance to determine the need. For example, if you speak English and will be conferencing with business leaders in China, there’s a good chance they speak English and won’t require an interpreter. However, there’s still a chance that some participants could benefit from this service, making it worthwhile to check.

Adding an Interpreter Before the International Conference Call

Once you’ve determined the need for an interpreter, you’ll need to find one who speaks the designated languages. If you have someone on staff who can do this for you, great; simply invite him or her to your global conference call as you would any other participant and make sure not to use lecture mode as your interpreter will need to speak.

If not, there are many online services you could turn to hire a one-time interpreter to help with your audio conference. You’ll want to source and set up your online interpreting account before the global conference call as you certainly don’t want your group to have to wait while you take care of your billing details and other matters.

These online services typically connect you to an interpreter on demand, making audio conference invites impractical. Fortunately, you can use our leader dial-out function (*1) to dial the service, select the desired language, and connect with an interpreter. Once you fill him or her in on the task, press *2 to join the interpreter to the call.

You may want to do this a few minutes prior to the actual start of the international conference call to ensure that both you and the interpreter are on the line as your participants join the call.

Conference Call Interpreter Added During the Conference Call

Assuming you’ve already set up an account with a prepaid service, you could also add an interpreter mid-way through a conference call if needed. For example, if you’ve invited a special guest to join the global call at a specific time, and that person requires an interpreter, you can use the included leader dial-out feature to join both parties to the audio conference. Again, you’d press *1 to initiate dial-out and *2 to join the parties to the conference.

These tips are helpful for the occasional need for a single interpreter. If you’re hosting a large global audio conference requiring support for multiple languages in separate “breakaway rooms,” contact us about our custom event audio conferencing services.

Mechanical Acoustic Telephones

It would take about two hundred years before the tin can phone as we know it made another appearance.

Origins of Telecom: Mechanical Acoustic Telephones

Mechanical acoustic telephones

Remember making a “telephone” with tin cans and a string as a child? While tin can phones may be considered fun and games today, they were a big deal back in the mid-1800s.

The first acoustic string phone is believed to have originated in the 1660s when British physicist Robert Hooke first tinkered with a conical glass hearing aid in an attempt to improve it. He experimented with various apparatuses and wire to send sound across a long distance (in this case, from one room to another). Using two hearing aids connected by an insulated, stretched wire, he was able to send sound to his assistant in another room. He started by playing a musical note on an instrument. His assistant heard it perfectly. Next, he spoke into the conical glass hearing aid, and once again, his assistant heard him perfectly.

As far as Hooke, was concerned, the experiment was a success. However, all he did with it was make note of it in the preface of his book, Micrographia, where he wrote, “I can assure the Reader, that I have, by the help of a distended wire, propagated the sound to a very considerable distance in an instant, or with as seemingly quick a motion as that of light, at least, incomparably swifter then that, which at the same time was propagated through the Air; and this not only in a straight line, or direct, but in one bended in many angles.”

It would take about two hundred years before the tin can phone as we know it made another appearance. This time, the inventor was Amos E. Dolbear. He used regular string and two cylindrical containers. As you know, this is about as simple a device as you can create, perhaps too simple. Dolbear approached Western Union with his device but was promptly dismissed due to its simplicity and Western Union’s interest in a competing technology, the telegraph.

Admittedly, it’s hard to capitalize on something as simple as two tin cans and a string. Hooke’s invention was not a commercial success, but it did find an audience among regular people, in particular, lovers. In fact, the tin can phone is often called the “lover’s phone.”

The December 1889 edition of Science magazine describes a demonstration of a simple wire acoustic telephone outside a railway near London. A wire stretched along telegraph poles made it possible for passengers to speak across the distance using nothing but the wire and a standard hat placed against it. The hat served as the receiver/transmitter, amplifying the sounds from the wire. When the passengers arrived at their destination, a local hotel, similar wires were present throughout the property. These lines included a wooden box at each end that acted as both a transmitter and receiver. This simple mechanical acoustic telephone by the British Pulsion Telephone Company worked much like the tin cans, but included a metal diaphragm held in place by clips and screws as well as a few “resonators” on the diaphragm such as springs, which were thought to re-enforce the sound vibrations.

Mechanical acoustic phones were marketed as a niche alternative to Bell’s electrical telephone but failed to gain a major following due to limited range and increased competition once Bell’s patents expired.

A January 1890 article in Hawke’s Bay Herald covering this same demonstration suggests that the Pulsion telephone would “produce a complete revolution in telephonic communication.” Of course, by this time, Bell’s telephone had been patented 14 years prior and was in use by tens of thousands of subscribers.

Mechanical acoustic telephones are an interesting blip in the history of telecommunications.



http://www.gutenberg.org/files/15491/15491-h/15491-h.htm (Micrographia)



Outbound International Calls

Our Caller ID override feature, which is an optional add-on to our global call forwarding numbers, allows you to assign your global call forwarding number as the Caller ID number.

How to Make Outbound International Calls with Caller ID Override

Did you know you can add outbound international calls capability to your global call forwarding number? This is a terrific add-on that allows you to assign your international call forwarding number as your Caller ID number when making international calls.

For example, let’s say you have a global call forwarding number for important business contacts in Europe to use to reach you in USA. A contact in London can dial a UK phone number to call you in the United States. This has its own set of benefits including ease of use, toll-free or local access, localization, and low costs. However, what happens if you need to return or initiate a call?

While you can use our global call forwarding numbers to make a cheap outbound international calls, your Caller ID may cause confusion by defaulting to the physical phone that you are using to make the call. Not only that, if your contacts miss your calls, they might hesitate to call back due to the fact that it’s obviously an international phone call. They might reject the call altogether for that same reason.

Our Caller ID Override feature, which is an optional add-on to our global call forwarding numbers, allows you to assign your global call forwarding number as the Caller ID number. Now, your contacts in London will see a local number when you call. If they miss your call, they can more easily return it as your actual global call forwarding number will be displayed as the Caller ID. Plus, they’ll be less likely to hesitate to return a local or toll-free call rather than an international one.

Caller ID override can be used by multiple phones simultaneously. For example, a call center can be set up to display the global call forwarding number of your choice when making outbound calls.

Why Add Caller ID Override to Your Account?

In short, Caller ID override is ideal for those who will be using global call forwarding numbers to both receive and initiate outbound international phone calls. It’s a cost-effective way to make cheap international phone calls and strengthen your company’s localization strategies.

How to Get Caller ID Override

In order to use our Caller ID override feature for outbound international calls, you’ll need to add outbound calling to your account. From there, you can select any of your associated global call forwarding numbers to be used as your Caller ID override. If you want to use a number from a different provider, you’ll need to provide us with proper documentation proving your ownership of that number. Once set up, you can change your Caller ID override at any time through the control panel.

Virtual Phone Number Information

UK Telecommunications News

Caller ID Definition

Virtual Number for Your Global Business

Month-to-month plans are available ranging from basic with included minutes to enterprise with more than 11,000 included minutes.

How to Add an Australian and New Zealand Virtual Numbers to Your Global Business

Virtual number for Australia and New Zealand look just like other business phone numbers in those countries.

Is your US business ready to do business in Australia and New Zealand? Whether you offer services or import and export goods with these trading partners, having an affordable way to communicate internationally is a must. Virtual phone number is a great way to facilitate communication with local business associates, employees, vendors, and customers alike. Not only can you remote call forward calls from Australia and New Zealand to your American (or any country) office, but you can also appear as if you have a local presence within each country. Here’s how it works.

Virtual number for Australia and New Zealand look just like other business phone numbers in those countries. You can get city-specific virtual numbers or toll-free phone numbers that are local to Australia and New Zealand. Rather than ringing to a local office, you can set up the virtual phone numbers to ring to your main office in the United States.

Benefits of Virtual Numbers 

Everyone benefits when you set up Australian or New Zealand virtual phone numbers. First, your business is able to create a local presence without having to rent office space and staff offices far from your home base. Your US-based employees can easily handle incoming calls from abroad, or if you prefer, you could route incoming calls to different call centers based upon the time of day they come in.

Local business partners and customers benefit because they can reach your office without having to dial internationally. Virtual numbers are completely local to them, so there are no international long distance charges and no country and exit codes to worry about. 

Our Australian and New Zealand global virtual numbers are packed with helpful features, too, including SMS forwarding, fax forwarding, simultaneous ringing, sequential ringing, customized greetings, voicemail to email, and more.

Use Cases for a Virtual Number in Australia and New Zealand

There are many ways US businesses can use a virtual phone number to expand their businesses into Australia and New Zealand. Here are a few common scenarios:

  • Customer care — If you sell products or services internationally, your customers need a convenient way to reach your organization for customer service or technical support. Getting toll free or universal toll free numbers for the countries you serve makes sense.
  • Import / export communications — Placing orders, responding to requests, collaborating on new ideas, and dealing with customs often require voice communications. Make it easy on your local contacts to reach you with a virtual call forwarding number.
  • Consulting — Your expertise knows no bounds, especially when you’re readily accessible via global call forwarding numbers for Australia and New Zealand.

We have toll free, local, and universal virtual phone numbers for Australia to the USA and New Zealand to USA available without a contract. With high-quality PSTN connections and competitive per minute rates, connecting with your partners abroad is much like calling across town. Month-to-month plans are available ranging from basic with included minutes to enterprise with more than 11,000 included minutes. Sign up for a free trial today.

View details about Virtual Phone Numbers here

Desktop Video Meeting and Relocation Packages

Work relationships can begin beforehand, enabling employees to get to know future colleagues or even begin some project work remotely.

Desktop Video Meeting

Sending employees on overseas assignments or relocating them to another office is a complex task, requiring company resources and a great deal of coordination, before and during the relocation. As part of your relocation package, consider adding desktop video meeting services. Desktop video can supplement or even eliminate the need for an orientation trip. While the good old telephone will help with the logistics of relocating, there are some instances where our video conferencing comes in handy. Let’s take a look.

Meeting with Realtors — Your employees will need a place to live, making a video conference with a local Realtor or property manager essential early in the process. Meeting face-to-face in a desktop video meeting is a great way for employees to share their requirements with the agent, form a relationship, and feel confident that the agent understands exactly what type of home to find. The real estate agent can even take employees on video tours of potential homes by joining the desktop video conferencing using a smartphone from the homes themselves.

Meeting with New Colleagues — Work relationships can begin beforehand, enabling employees to get to know future colleagues or even begin some project work remotely. Forming these relationships in advance will make the transition a little easier as your employees will see familiar faces at their new workplaces.

Learning about the Culture — For overseas assignments, it’s helpful for employees to go through a brief cultural orientation. This can be conducted via video conference by one of the local contacts in the other country. In addition, employees can ask about the best areas to live, local transportation, schools and churches, and other areas of interest.

Spousal Requirements — Relocating with a family typically means the spouse must find work. Having access to a desktop video conferencing tool can play a role in the spouse’s remote job search. For example, he or she could meet with a headhunter in a video conference or have a face-to-face interview with a potential employer.

Staying in Touch with Loved Ones — For those on overseas assignments, desktop video conferencing can be a lifeline, helping them to stay connected with their families back home.

Staying in Touch with the Team — Once your employees have settled into their new environments, they can use desktop video meeting to stay in touch with the home office. Whether you want them to provide weekly status updates, stay involved in local projects, or check in periodically, the ability to connect via a face-to-face video conference can help ease the transition and keep work relationships strong.

These are but a few of the many ways a desktop video meeting can be used as part of an employee relocation package. Adding easy to use video conferencing is a low-cost, high-benefit solution that your employees will appreciate. Try a free 30-day trial today and discover just how easy our desktop video tool is for all participants to use.

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Global Communications Services in Real Time

Whether you want to celebrate with your family or conduct business internationally, these three real-time communications tools make it possible to connect with others around the world quickly, easily and affordable.

How to Use Real-Time Communication Tools to Collaborate with Your Global Customers and your Overseas Loved Ones

Global Communications are mandatory if you have loved ones or customers around the world, you know that international phone calls can be tricky and expensive. Elderly parents and grandparents may be hesitant to call due to cost concerns or because it’s intimidating to figure out how to dial using all those country codes, exit codes, and calling card codes. It doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, many of the tools you use for conducting business globally, such as our international conferencing, global virtual phone numbers, and video conferencing can be used with family scattered around the world. Below are a few ideas that make it easy for your loved ones to reach out no matter where in the world they are.

Global Communications Services

1. Get a Virtual Phone Number. This is a gift they will absolutely love. Here’s how it works: Start by ordering a virtual number that’s local to the country your loved one is located in. For example, if your parents live in the Philippines and you live in the United States, you’d order a virtual number that’s local for those in the Philippines. Your parents would dial a
Philippines local or toll-free number, just as if you were in Manilla or another local city. There’s no need for country codes, exit codes, or calling cards. Their calls would then be forwarded to your phone in the United States. As the virtual phone number account holder, you’ll purchase buckets of prepaid minutes at some of the most competitive per minute rates in the industry. Now, your parents, associates or Philippines based customers can call you at any time without the barriers that previously caused them stress.

2. Use Our International Conference Call Service. How about a group audio call that brings the entire extended family together? This is a great way to celebrate the holidays, ring in the new year, or have a virtual family reunion. With our pay-as-you-go international conferencing plans, there are no activation fees, no contracts, and no minimum requirements. You simply pay for the minutes used (again, with extremely competitive per-minute rates) during your conference calls and you can cancel at any time with no penalties. Each person, whether located in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, or anywhere else in the world, will dial into the conference call using an access number that’s local or toll free to their location. You can also use the “dial out” feature to dial your family members directly if you prefer. This is helpful if someone forgets to join or lives in a country with a poorly developed communications system.

3. Try Desktop Video Conferencing. The first two options are voice only, which is ideal for multi-generational communications. If your family members are tech savvy, consider our desktop video conferencing service. We offer a free 30-day trial and low monthly rates without a contract.

Whether you want to celebrate with your family or conduct business internationally, these three real-time communications tools make it possible to connect with others around the world quickly, easily and affordable. Get started today.

View International Telecommunications Services here

Desktop Video Conferencing for a Workgroup

Desktop Video Conferencing for a Workgroup

Looking for an effective way to connect with your team, focus on a specific task, and get work done? Look no further than your desktop video conferencing plan. The idea here is to gather together, state what you want to accomplish, and then get to work independently on the stated task. Thus, in a one-hour session, you might spend 5 minutes in the video conference initially stating your goals, then set the timer for 50 minutes of offline work, and then return to the video conference to share what you accomplished or what you may have struggled with during that time.

Whether you’re part of a small, remote team or an online community of like-minded individuals, regular video meet-ups can help keep you connected and on track. Here’s what you need to get started.

A desktop video conferencing plan — Our Video Pro Conferencing plan is perfect for workgroups. Not only is it affordable, easy to use, and available without a contract, it’s loaded with useful features such as collaborative notes, screen-sharing, personal share space, presenter controls, chats, free VoIP audio, lecture mode, mobile apps, and more. Everyone can join from a standard web browser, making it ideal for groups who may not be tech savvy.

A reason to gather virtually — What is the reason for the workgroup? It could be anything from making progress on a team project or on individual goals. For example, an engineering firm in need of a LinkedIn presence might schedule monthly workgroups where each principal commits to working on their LinkedIn profiles or creating content to share. A group of watercolor artists might meet monthly in a video conference to work on their designs. Meeting in this ways has a built-in accountability factor, helping motivate participants to get to work.

Simplicity — The old “keep it simple” adage holds true here. Pick a set time and date for your desktop video workgroups such as the last Tuesday of every month from 1:00pm to 2:00pm. Your agenda should also be simple and consistent from one session to the next such as 5-minute opening where everyone shares their plans for the session, a 50-minute offline work session, and a 5-minute closing/sharing session.

Eager participants — This method isn’t for everyone, but could be the push many people need to work on tasks that they want to do but often get pushed to the back burners. When inviting participants, stress the benefits. This is NOT your typical video conference. It’s a dedicated slot of time for working on work that matters. It’s also a shared experience, which is a welcome reprieve for remote workers who often work in isolation. Your work group can be as small or as large (up to the limits of your video conferencing plan) as you’d like.

Using desktop video conferencing for a workgroup in this manner allows for face-to-face interactions. Webcams can be used by multiple participants or turned off for those who prefer not to appear on camera. Screen-sharing and pass the presenter controls works well for sharing digital accomplishments such as graphic designs, PowerPoints, animations, etc.

We’re currently offering a free, 30-day trial of Video Pro. Get it now and hold your first workgroup today.

How to Host a Series of “Micro” Global Conference Calls

Bob, a regional salesperson in Argentina, doesn’t necessarily need to attend a global conference call discussing custom issues between USA and Taiwan.

Gathering a group into a global conference call has some logistical challenges to overcome, which is why it’s tempting to keep everyone on the line for as long as possible. After all, you want to get as much as possible accomplished since the entire group is present. There’s certainly a time and place for a long, involved global conference call; however, fatigue can set in quickly and your long group audio calls might not be as productive as you’d like. Consider breaking a long international conference call into a series of micro audio conferences.

Benefits of Shorter, More Frequent Global Conference Calls

One of the biggest downsides of international conferencing is the clock. Depending on where your attendees are located, your global conference calls are likely inconvenient for some participants. Joining a conference call at midnight local time is challenging, even more so when the call is expected to be a one- to two-hour experience. If they skip the call and plan on listening to the recording, that’s a one-to two-hour commitment just to get back up to speed on what they’ve missed. Knowing that the call will only last 10 to 15 minutes could be more palatable to these individuals. Likewise, if they missed the conference call, they can quickly get up to speed first thing in the morning.

Even when the timing is convenient, long conference calls can become draining and unproductive. Holding a series of micro conference calls could result in better:
• Focus
• Engagement
• Relationships
• Results

If you limit the length of your global conference call to a maximum of 15 minutes, your agenda must be tightly focused, most likely on a single topic. This laser focus also means that your participant list can be tailored to better match the topic of discussion. For example, Bob, a regional salesperson in Argentina, doesn’t necessarily need to attend a global conference call discussing custom issues between USA and Taiwan.

Since your micro conferences are more relevant to attendees — and significantly shorter, attendees will likely be more engaged during the conference call and less prone to multi-tasking during the call. It’s much easier to give your full attention for 15 minutes than it is to do so for an hour or longer.

Meeting more frequently but in shorter bursts could also foster better relationships. For example, as the calls become more relevant to attendees, they’ll feel more valued and that their time is respected. Since the calls occur more frequently, you can address and resolve issues as they come up.

It’s easier to retain information and take appropriate action when given in smaller doses. It’s also easier to hold others accountable for focused, timely tasks rather than a long laundry list of things to get done.

Hosting a series of micro global conference calls requires access to an easy-to-use international conferencing plan with exceptional audio quality and helpful features. You want to make joining your global conference calls as easy as possible for attendees, especially since you’ll be using it more often. Our pay-as-you-go international conferencing plans are simple, user-friendly, affordable, and loaded with premium features. Local and toll-free access numbers are provided for 150 countries for easy dial-in access. We even have a free mobile app for one-touch access. There are no monthly fees, no minimum usage requirements, and no contracts! Give it a try and find out just how easy it is to host global conference calls on demand or on a schedule.

Learn more about global conferencing here

International Conference Call Victoria, Hong Kong and Victoria, British Columbia

International conference calling was once the realm of large international companies. However, today, mid-sized and small businesses alike are doing business internationally. As their supply chains widen and their teams grow more geographically diverse, the need for international conference calls increases. Fortunately, it’s easier and more affordable than ever to hold a global conference call.

Victoria, Canada

For example, let’s say you operate a small manufacturing business in Victoria, British Columbia and are interested in working with a supplier based out of Victoria, Hong Kong and need to have a group audio call to learn more about the supplier’s capabilities before scheduling an expensive and time-consuming trip to tour their factory and seal the deal. Now, let’s say that your partner is located in Los Angeles and one of your investors wants to be on the call as well, and she’s currently on vacation in Ireland.

International Conference Call Hong Kong and Canada

A simple phone call is starting to get complicated. After all, it’s a hassle to make international phone calls, and you’re not sure that the toll-free access number with the audio conferencing service you usually use will work internationally. You’re right on both accounts. Fortunately, our international conferencing plan solves both of those problems brilliantly.

Victoria Peak, Hong Kong

International Conference Call Hong Kong and Canada

Here’s how it works:

  1. It’s a pay-as-you-go global conference calling service with no monthly fees or minimum usage requirements.  This makes it perfect for both low- and high-volume usage scenarios. If you only use the service for this one Hong Kong to Canada conference call, that’s completely up to you and you won’t be penalized for low usage or cancellation.
  2. All participants are given local access numbers specific to their countries including local toll-free access where available. In this example, you’d dial a toll free number for Canada; your supplier would dial a toll free or regular access number local to Victoria, Hong Kong; your partner in Los Angeles would dial a US toll free or local access number in LA; and your investor in Ireland could use the free Connect app to join the call on a mobile phone without incurring international roaming charges.
  3. Host the global conference call at a time that works well for your participants. During the call, you can manage all aspects of it using our live event viewer or key commands. The sound quality is exceptional and carried across modern fiber option telephone networks and not VOIP. Our pay-as-you-go service includes a long list of robust features including MP3 recordings, attendance logs, security tools, and more.
  4. Since it’s a pay-as-you-go service, you’ll pay only for the minutes you and your participants used during your calls. All connections to your conference account are billed to the account owner, the participants do not pay. Our international conference calling rates are extremely competitive. For example, as of this writing, Canada and USA toll-free are both $0.026 per minute 2.6 cents (USD); Hong Kong is $0.09 per minute, and Ireland is $0.12 per minute. A 30-minute global conference call with one participant in each of these four countries would cost you just $7.74.

Our International Conference Call Hong Kong service spans the globe. We have 150 local and toll-free access numbers as well as dial-out options for participants in countries lacking the infrastructure for toll-free support. Whether you’re part of a large enterprise or a small mom and pop, if you need to collaborate internationally, our global conferencing calling plans are for you!

Continue with international conferencing details

Communicating with Symbols and Codes

When you think of telecommunications today, what comes to mind? Fiberoptic lines? Satellites? Massive global networks? Those certainly help define modern telecommunications, but it’s not all high tech wizardry. In fact, mankind has long used low tech measures to communicate across distances with symbols and codes helping to make it possible despite the actual delivery mechanism. Below are a few examples of how we have communicated with symbols and codes over time.

Symbols and Communicating Ship to Ship

Symbols with colorful and with bold patterns, nautical flags represent much more than fanciful boat decor. They were, and still are, used to communicate from ship to ship and from ship to shore. Nautical flags are an international code system consisting of 26 square flags (one for each letter of the alphabet) along with 10 numbered pennants. Not only can nautical flags be used to spell out messages alphabetically, one-flag signals have specific internationally-understood meanings. For example, the ‘O’ flag, when flown alone, means “man overboard”; ‘V’ means assistance is needed; ‘W’ means medical assistance is needed; ‘J’ means the vessel is on fire and to stay back. Each letter, except for ‘R’, has a specific meaning.

Morse Code

As you likely know, Morse code was used to send messages over the telegraph. Each letter of the alphabet was assigned a set of dots or dashes which could be relayed by tapping the telegraph key to match. Dots required a quick tap while dashes were held slightly longer. For example, the term “save our ship” — or SOS — in Morse code translates to “… – – – …” (’s’ is three dots; ‘o’ is three dashes; and ’s’ once again is three dots). In addition to using Morse code over telegraphs, sailors used it with lamps to transmit their messages from ship to ship or from ship to shore.

As old-fashioned as Morse code may sound, it’s still in use today. In fact, the U.S. Navy has created a flashing light to text converter system (called the Flashing Light to Converter System) that converts text messages to Morse code, transmits them via a signal light, and then converts the Morse code back to text message. Now, sailors can simply enter a text message and transmit it via light signals to another ship, which can either translate the Morse code by hand or use its own Flashing Light to Converter System unit to read the actual text message.

Pager Codes

In the 1980s and 1990s when pagers were all the rage and before alphanumeric support became available, pager code was developed. Pager code used numbers that resembled letters (for example, the number 3 looks like a backwards E; thus, 3 = E). According to Urban Dictionary, page code is as follows:

A=6 B=8 C=0 D=0 E=3 F=7 G=9 H=4 I=1 J=7 K=15 L=7 M=177 N=17 O=0 P=9 Q=9 R=12 S=5 T=7 U=17(or 11) V=17(or 11) W=111 X=25 Y=4 Z=5.

17103 (Nice).

Symbols | From Emoticons to Emoji

Finally, let’s take a look at the ever-popular emoticon 🙂 and emoji 😀. Emoticons came first and were used to convey human emotion in icon form. They began to immerge in the early 1980s. Using just your keyboard, you can convey your feelings. For example, 😉 is an emoticon for winking while :-/ indicates skepticism or annoyance. In 1999, Japanese artist Shigetaka Kurita, a member of the “i-mode” development team for a cellphone carrier, designed an a set of 12-by-12-pixel images that could be selected and sent via the i-mode interface — and the emoji was born. Today, an estimated 92 percent of all people use emoji. In a way, we’ve come full circle to the early days of creating cave art to communicate.

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Symbols Sources:








Web Conference Remote Workers

Our desktop web conferencing tool is ideal for human resources departments, enabling you to conduct interviews and onboard new remote employees with ease.

Web Conference Remote Workers

Web conference remote workers and hires has become more common thanks to technology that bridges distances while allowing real work to get done. Various tools make it possible to interact with job candidates without requiring expensive travel. For example, you can use video and audio conferencing tools to conduct interviews remotely, allowing you and the candidate to interact in real time. Video conferencing allows you to see one another face-to-face, emulating an in-person interview. It doesn’t end there. Let’s look at how you can use web conferencing to help your new hire get up to speed during the on boarding process.

How to Use Web Conferencing to Onboard a Remote Employee

Share and Explain New Hire Paperwork

As with any new employee, there are a lot of forms to fill out including tax forms, contracts, NDAs, insurance forms, and more. Using a web conferencing tool allows you to share these forms electronically as well as interact using video or audio conferencing. Not only can you share the forms with the remote worker, you can go over each one as needed. Since you’ll be connected in a web conference, you can answer any questions about the forms or benefits package immediately.

Depending on the amount of initial paperwork you have, you might deliver and explain the company policy manual during this session or schedule a second web conference to go over it. It’s not a bad idea to share the manual at the end of this web conference, give the employee time to read it and then meet again in a second conference to go over expectations and answer questions of the Web Conference Remote Workers.

Conduct an Orientation Session

Once the paperwork has been formalized, consider using a web conference for orientation. If you’ve recently hired several remote employees, this can be a group conference which both saves time and effort on your part while helping them to feel part of a larger team. With our web conferencing service, your remote employees can join from around the world using a standard web browser and Internet connection. During the conference, you can present a PowerPoint, play YouTube videos, demonstrate company software and more. Consider having supervisors or even the CEO join the session briefly to introduce themselves or share their stories and vision.

Introduce the New Hire to the Team

Whom will the remote worker be working with on a regular basis? Whom will he or she report directly to? Schedule a “get acquainted” web conference between these key individuals. Work with the supervisor beforehand to set an agenda and invite the appropriate team members to the conference. For example, in addition to sharing some background information about each team member, the supervisor may want to discuss the current project or first assignment. 

Web Conferencing Remote Workers to Conduct Training Sessions

Web conferences remote workers are ideal for training hires. Whether you use a specific type of software that needs to be taught or have a certain philosophy or proven sales process you want all team members to be well versed in, web conferencing is an excellent tool for training. You can even record and repurpose these sessions with just a click of the record button.

Provide Feedback

Just as you regularly conduct performance reviews with your on-premises team, the remote worker deserves the same courtesy. Fortunately, web conferencing can be used in this situation as well.

Our desktop web conferencing tool is ideal for human resources departments, enabling you to conduct interviews and onboard new remote employees with ease. We offer a free, 30-day trial and competitive monthly rates without a contract.

Try Video/Web Conferencing Free for 30 Days here

Before the iPhone, There was the iPhone Infogear

The so-called Internet appliance was first dreamed up by three engineers at National Semiconductor who had created a crude but working prototype.

Origins of Telecom: iPhone Infogear

Bob Ackerman [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

The Apple iPhone is legendary and it’s hard to imagine any other product bearing its name. However, long before the Apple iPhone, there was another iPhone — InfoGear’s iPhone (later the Cidco iPhone). The iPhone InfoGear was released in 1998. It looked like a traditional office telephone, but with a large touchscreen display and a slide-out keyboard. The InfoGear iPhone was billed as an “Internet appliance” that combined a telephone with web browsing, email, a speakerphone, and a digital answering machine.

The so-called Internet appliance was first dreamed up by three engineers at National Semiconductor who had created a crude but working prototype. A consultant, Robert Ackerman, stumbled upon their project during a tour of the engineering department and became enamored with it. He realized that what others were starting to predict for the future was right in front of him and began negotiations with National Semiconductor. As a result, InfoGear was born as a standalone entity.

One of the tenets of the early iPhone was simplicity. It had to be as easy to use as an ATM machine, so easy that anyone could understand and use it. In fact, its black and white touchscreen display featured large graphical icons representing email and the web, functioning much like the touchscreens found in ATMs of that era.

The InfoGear iPhone debuted at the 1998 Consumer Electronics Show, winning the Innovations ’98 award. That same year at Fall Internet World ’98, the iPhone won the Best of Show award for Outstanding Desktop Hardware Product.

Among the InfoGear iPhone’s innovations were:

  • Transcribed voicemail — Messages appeared as text on the screen. A touchscreen button allowed you to tap to return the call.
  • Integrated content — Content from People, Sports Illustrated, Money, and Time was available as were movie listings from Hollywood Online.
  • Maps — A Maps application was included with maps data.
  • Early cloud computing — Most of the processing was done on a remote server, long before “cloud computing” became mainstream.

The InfoGear iPhone wasn’t cheap. It cost $499 in 1998 plus required a $19.95 per month fee for Internet access.

The InfoGear iPhone was briefly branded the Cidco iPhone after a partnership between InfoGear and Cidco. In total, only about 100,000 InfoGear iPhone units were sold.

In 2000, Cisco Systems acquired InfoGear along with the iPhone trademark for $300 million in stock. Cisco rebranded a line of its Linksys VoIP phones with the iPhone name. By 2007, Apple had announced its iPhone to which Cisco responded with a lawsuit. A settlement was reached, with both companies allowed to use the iPhone name.

Today, the Apple iPhone is a huge international success. Where the InfoGear iPhone sold roughly 100,000 units during its entire existence, the Apple iPhone sold more than 46 million units in the fourth quarter of 2018 alone.


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