Expanded International Conference Call Plan

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 the 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






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How to Host International Conference Calls

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 a 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. Choose wisely and your international conference calls are sure to be successful.

Learn more about hosting international conference calls here

View details about Conference Calling here

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Conference Call South Korea with Global Guests

conference call south korea

Conference Call South Korea

This year’s host of the Winter Olympics, South Korea, has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world and is also one of the world’s top ten importers and exporters.

Whether you do business in South Korea, are an avid sports fan, or have family in South Korea, business back home doesn’t stop when you’re visiting the country. Holding global conference calls from South Korea is one way to stay in touch from the Korean peninsula.

Setting Up a conference call South Korea

Our international conferencing service provides toll-free access numbers for countries around the globe at competitive rates. Thus, not only can you host the conference call from South Korea, you can have participants join the call from the USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, Germany, or wherever else your contacts may be located. For you and all of your attendees, the conference call is completely localized. They do not need to dial a South Korean number just because that’s where you happen to be initiating the conference.

To set up the conference call, you’ll need to:

  • Choose a suitable time and date, keeping time zone differences in mind
  • Invite participants to join you in a global conference call
  • Send participants the call details (access numbers and conference PIN)

Conducting the Conference Call from South Korea

Conducting a global conference call South Korea is similar to conducting any other conference call you may have managed in the past. You can manage your global conferences via an online dashboard or use your phone’s keypad to perform functions such as mute, request operator assistance, or launch the dial-out command to dial an attendee’s phone number directly and manually join him or her into the conference call.

Because attendees will be joining your South Korea conference call from around the world, you probably have concerns about audio quality and cost — and you should because not all telecommunications services are created equally. We’re committed to delivering the best audio experience technology can bring, which is why we use modern fiber optic PSTN networks and not VoIP. We’re equally committed to keeping our global teleconferencing service affordable and flexible, which is why our per minute rates are competitive and our plans offered on a pay-as-you-go basis without contracts or monthly fees.

Having a high-quality global conference calling plan that’s available when you need it, but without recurring monthly costs, can help you stay in touch wherever your travels take you.

Learn more about Conference Call South Korea here

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The First Commercial Telephone Exchange

Southern New England Telephone Exchange BuildingHaving grown up with telephone service that just works, most of us don’t give much thought to making phone calls.

We dial a number and connect with the other person or leave a message. It’s as simple as that. In the late 1880s, however, putting Alexander Graham Bell’s invention to work commercially on a massive scale wasn’t a simple endeavor.

It started out simple enough, with an 8-line switchboard made from carriage bolts, wire, and teapot lids. This crude switchboard, developed by George Coy, was the start of something bigger.  Coy, a manager for the Atlantic and Pacific Telegraph Company, had seen 1877 demonstration of the telephone presented by Alexander Graham Bell in New Haven, Connecticut and was immediately intrigued. By the end of that same year, Coy had become a Bell franchisee for two counties in Connecticut.

Coy put his own ideas to work, creating his 8-line switchboard. Each of the lines could serve 8 customers. Coy, along with the financial support of two local businessmen, Herrick Frost and Walter Lewis, formed the New Haven District Telephone Company on January 15, 1878 — less than nine months after seeing Bell’s telephone demonstration. Within weeks of incorporation, New Haven District Telephone Company opened the world’s first commercial telephone exchange with 21 customers.

As the first company with telephone subscribers, it was also the first to publish a classified telephone directory. Its first directory was published on February 11, 1878, less than a month after the company was formed. It listed just 50 customers.

This was a turbulent time in the telecommunications era, with Western Union and Bell jockeying for control of the telegraph and telephone businesses. During this time, New Haven District Telephone Company underwent several reorganizations in a bid to expand and broaden its franchise rights. The company became Connecticut Telephone Company in 1880. Over the next two years, the company had 24 exchanges and more than 3500 subscribers. A subsidiary company, Inter State Telephone Company, was formed to establish a line between New York and Boston. The company reorganized again in 1882, becoming the Southern New England Telephone Company.

The company’s plans for expansion didn’t materialize as planned, due in large part to the introduction of electricity and the failure of the Boston-New York line, which was eventually sold to American Telephone & Telegraph (AT&T). Electricity caused interference on phone lines, requiring a major overhaul involving the replacement of every switchboard and new metallic connections for every customer.

Over the decades, Southern New England Telephone had its share of highs and lows and mergers and acquisitions. In the modern era, Southern New England Telephone became Southern New England Telecommunications Corporation, or SNET, and added long distance, paging services, fiber optics, and Internet services. SNET eventually merged with SBC in 1998, and was later acquired by Frontier Communications in 2014.

Today’s telephone exchanges are massive, far evolved from Coy’s early 8-line switch. Though Coy’s New Haven Telephone Company is a relic of the past, his contributions to the telecommunications industry make him a true telecom pioneer.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —


“A Guide to the Southern New England Telephone Company Records, Undated, 1877-2003 | University Libraries.” n.d. Accessed January 5, 2018. http://archives.lib.uconn.edu/islandora/object/20002%3A860138740.

“Telecommunications Virtual Museum.” n.d. Accessed January 5, 2018. http://www.telcomhistory.org/vm/histories.shtml.

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How to Use Collaborative Notes in a Video Meeting

Collaborative NotesDesktop video meetings allow remote teams to collaborate face-to-face while also putting a variety of tools at their fingertips including chat boxes and file sharing controls.

But what about all those notes everyone is taking individually? Our desktop video conferencing service has a unique collaborative note-taking feature that you’ll definitely want to start using. Here’s what you need to know.

Why Take Notes During a Video Conference?

It’s important to document the topics discussed along with action items so that you can refer back to your notes at a later date and make sure you complete any tasks assigned to you. It’s likely that most of the other participants are aware of this and taking their own notes, just like you.

For some, the obvious choice is a notepad and pencil. Others may prefer an app like Evernote, Notability, or Apple Notes. While you could certainly use a digital or analog note-taking tool during a video conference, using a built-in collaborative note feature is a great idea.

Using the built-in note-taking tool keeps you inside the video conference interface, helping to minimize distractions and keep you focused. Not only can everyone take notes from within the desktop video conferencing interface, these notes can be shared so that everyone is on the same page.

There’s less duplication of effort, too, because the note-taking load is shared amongst the group. For instance, only one person will need to type out detailed information related to a project or task, yet everyone will have it. While one is typing logistical details, another might supplement it with a bullet list of the creative ideas proposed during the video meeting.

Private vs. Collaborative Notes

Our note tool can be used for both private and collaborative notes. You can actively work with both types of notes during a video conference. For example, you may want to open a private note for jotting down information relevant to you, but not to the group as a whole. You may also want to contribute to a collaborative group note, adding your thoughts, ideas, or even corrections as the video meeting progresses.

Using a Collaborative Note as an Interactive Agenda

Many teams already have an outline for their notes in the form of the meeting’s agenda. Why not use it as a starting point for the meeting’s collaborative note?

  • Open a collaborative note.
  • Copy and paste the agenda into the collaborative note.
  • Encourage everyone to add their notes and tasks under each relevant agenda item.

By the end of the meeting, your collaborative note will be well organized based on the structure of the meeting itself.

Using collaborative and private notes during a video conference is easy and effective. Give it a try the next time you participate in a video meeting with your team.

Read more about Video Conferencing here

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How to Hold Global Conference Calls Between USA and South America

South America CountriesHosting global conference calls between USA and South America is often necessary when you have business associates, family members, teammates, or other contacts located in both hemispheres.

While there are several ways to accomplish a conference call between USA and South America, our pay-as-you-go global conferencing plans enable you to host technologically advanced conference calls with crystal clear audio without having to pay a premium for the service. Best of all, your attendees in South America can join your global calls using a mobile or standard phone and a local or toll free phone number.

For example, suppose you’d like to hold an audio training session for your company’s regional sales managers in USA, Ecuador, Brazil, Venezuela, Chile, and Peru. In the United States, your managers could simply dial into your conference call using a toll free access number, just as they always do when you host a domestic conference call.

However, access to a conference call from countries outside of your own country becomes trickier for participants. You may not have given it much thought, but regular North American toll free numbers only work in North America. Your managers in South America would need the direct phone number to your conference bridge, and even that is problematic. Your attendees would each need to figure out their country’s exit code, properly dial the conference call’s access number including the country code, and, later, pay any associated toll charges that appear on their phone bills.

If you’d rather not subject your sales managers to an additional task and added costs, going with a pay-as-you-go USA to South America global conferencing plan is a much better choice — and it’s one that comes with a lot of additional benefits.

• Easy Access with Local and Toll Free Access Numbers — We have local and toll free access numbers for countries and cities across South America including Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, and Chile (as well as for dozens of other countries around the globe). With a local number, such as an access number local to Santiago, Chile, your local attendees would dial a number that looks and acts just like any other phone number in their communities. If you have attendees in a region that doesn’t have a city-specific access number, country-specific toll free numbers are the next best choice. Again, there’s no need to do anything unusual other than dialing a simple toll free phone number. In either case, our per minute rates are among the most competitive global conferencing rates available.

• Convenient Alternative Access Options — For attendees in South American regions lacking a local or toll free access number, alternative methods exist for joining your global conference call including: moderator dial-out (you dial their number and make the connection), our free Connect app (they push a button on the app to join your global conference calls), or operator assistance (our operators can dial your attendees and join them into your calls).

• State-of-the-art Conference Calling Tools — At your fingertips, you’ll have access to a variety of modern global conferencing tools such as MP3 recording, roster, line muting, billing codes, line muting, automatic attendance reports, and more. You can even lock your South American global conference calls once they’ve begun to ensure no one else joins.

Holding a USA-South America conference call is a simple matter of choosing a time, notifying your attendees, and sending them the global call’s details. Our system does not require reservations, so you can host a South America conference call at a moment’s notice if so desired.

Learn more about conferencing with participants in other countries here

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Make a Practice Call Before Your First Global Conference Call

Try a practice callIf you’re new to holding international conference calls, it makes sense to take your conferencing service on a trial run before your first official conference call.

By getting familiar with the features and how they work beforehand, you’ll be less likely to stumble during the call and you’ll be more comfortable conducting the meeting. Here’s what to focus on before hosting your first global teleconference.

1. Get familiar with the tools. Our global conferencing plans come with several useful tools including the Live Event Viewer, which is an online tool for viewing and managing your calls; a free Connect app, which you can download to your mobile phone; and keypad commands for managing the conference call from a standard telephone. Take a few minutes to explore each of these tools to see which appeals best to you. For example, if you plan on hosting calls from your office, the Live Event Viewer is a convenient way to manage your conferences. For instance, if a participant has not muted his or her line and background noise is evident, you can mute that line via the Live Event Viewer. You can also record the conference, initiate a dial-out, and much more.

2. Learn the commands. As the moderator of your global teleconferences, it’s largely up to you to manage the call (unless you opt for our global event conferencing service). Here are a few of the more common commands:

● To request an operator, press *0.
● To initiate dial-out, press *1 (*2 to return with the new participant and *3 to return by yourself).
● To record a conference, press *2.
● To mute the line, press *6.
● To lock the conference, press *7.
● To enter a billing code, press *94.

3. Try a practice call. With our service, there’s no special equipment or software to install or test for participants or the moderator. All you need is a phone. The Live Event Viewer and Connect app are completely optional. No matter which way you decide to go, a quick practice call with a colleague or friend could put your mind at ease and get comfortable with the technology before a formal conference call.

Audio conferencing is a simple technology with a minimal learning curve. You won’t need to spend much time figuring it out, but taking a few minutes to become familiar with how it works before your first call will be time well spent.

View a Global Conference Call service here

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How to Get SMS Text Messages Sent to Your Business Email Account

SMS Text ForwardingSMS text messaging is extremely popular among users, but more cumbersome to manage from a business perspective. However, because so many of your customers prefer to communicate by texting, you’ll need an efficient way to facilitate that.

Here’s one of the best ways to receive SMS text messages from your customers and partners directly in your business’s email: SMS call forwarding numbers.

  • Sign up for a dedicated SMS call forwarding phone number. SMS forwarding phone numbers are a type of virtual phone number that accepts SMS text messages and then forwards them to the designated email box. You can also receive phone calls on the designated ring to phone number.
  • Choose your desired phone number. Currently, we offer SMS-enabled virtual numbers in select countries including USA, Canada, UK, and Romania. You can choose from toll free and local numbers.
  • Set your destination number. This is where any voice calls will be routed.
  • Set your email address. This is where your SMS messages will be forwarded. Both the sender’s caller ID and text message will be included in the email.

That’s it, you’re now ready to begin receiving SMS text messages in your business email account.

Many of your customers, partners, colleagues, and other business contacts prefer texting to talking on the phone. Providing them with a channel in which to do so is easy, even if you use a traditional PBX phone system. While they may be texting on a mobile phone, you’ll receive their messages in your inbox where you can quickly view them, forward them, respond, and more. You can even manage your SMS messages from your online account dashboard.

Like our other virtual phone numbers, SMS-enabled call forwarding numbers are available without a contract. Choose the monthly plan that’s right for you and let the texting begin.

Learn more about SMS Call Forwarding and Text Messages here

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When 3-Way Conferencing is Not Enough — How to Hold a 10-Way Conference Call with Global Participants

10 person call communicationMany business and residential phone systems offer 3-way calling as a standard feature. It’s a great way to bring a third party into an existing call, but it’s not nearly enough for more robust conference calls.

Plus, if you need to bring in someone from another country, 3-way conferencing can become tricky and expensive.

Our global conference calling plans are an affordable, easy-to-use alternative with no minimum usage requirements or monthly fees. You can host conferences with just a handful of attendees or dozens quickly and easily. As an example, here’s how to hold a 10-way conference call with participants from around the world.

Identify Each Participant’s Countries

Since there are several access options which do vary from country to country, you’ll want to gather some information before the call to ensure that each participant has an easy means of connecting to your conference call. Below are the more common access scenarios for international attendees:

  • Toll free access numbers — These are country-specific access numbers, so a caller in Italy, for example, would dial a toll free number that’s local to Italy. The access number then connects the caller to the conference bridge — all without the caller incurring toll charges or having to request operator assistance to make an international phone call.
  • Local access numbers — Again, these are regional. Your Italian participants could be given a local phone number for Naples, Rome, Milan, or another city in Italy. If they’re in that particular calling zone, then they’d avoid toll charges because it would be just like dialing any other local number in their community. Meanwhile, the call would be routed to the conference bridge.
  • Access via our Connect mobile app — Another option is to connect via our Connect app, which takes care of the dialing with just a quick tap.
  • Moderator dial out — There are a few countries with limited access numbers or per minute costs that may be higher than you’d like. For participants in those countries, consider using the moderator dial-out tool to call them and patch them into the call rather than the other way around. Dial-out rates are nice and low, too.

Choose a Global Conferencing Plan

The countries you’ve just identified will guide you in choosing the most appropriate global conferencing plan. Our plans are as follows:

  • USA – Canada conference calling — Perfect for cross-border conference calls involving participants in USA and Canada.
  • Legacy conference calling — This is one of our most popular plans. It includes global access numbers for 119 countries.
  • Expanded conferencing calling — Our expanded plan increases the number of access numbers to 150 including local city and toll free numbers.

Each of the above is offered on a pay-as-you-go basis with no contracts, no activation fee, no early termination fee, and no minimum usage requirements. You pay only for the minutes consumed in global conference calls — all at extremely competitive per minute rates.

Calculating the Cost of a 10-way Global Conference Call

Using the countries involved, you can estimate the cost of the call by looking up their rates.

Let’s use a 10-minute, 10-way international conference call as an example of costs using current costs as of December 2017 (rates subject to change).

Caller 1 – USA, Toll Free $0.026/minute, total cost = $0.26

Caller 2 – Canada, Toll Free $0.026/minute, total cost = $0.26

Caller 3 – Italy, Rome $0.07/minute, total cost = $0.70

Caller 4 – Philippines, Dial-Out $0.11/minute, total cost = $1.10

Caller 5 – Hong Kong, Toll Free $0.08/minute, total cost = $0.80

Caller 6 – Russia, Moscow, $0.10/minute, total cost = $1.00

Caller 7 – Monaco, Toll Free, $0.12/minute, total cost = $1.20

Caller 8 – South Africa, Johannesburg, $0.13/minute, total cost = $1.30

Caller 9 – Brazil, Toll Free, $0.16/minute, total cost = $1.60

Caller 10 – Guam, Toll Free, $0.026/minute, total cost = $0.26

Total cost of the 10-way global conference call: $8.48 USD

Since there’s no ongoing costs and no penalties for non-usage, you could create an account and use it just this one time — or you could use it as needed, paying only for the conference calls you hold.

It’s important to note that while our rates are low, our service is phenomenal. This is NOT a cheap unreliable VOIP plan; it’s a PSTN global conference calling plan known for its quality and reliability.

The next time you need to host a conference call, whether global or local, give us a try!

View more details about Global Conferencing here


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How to Make Cheap International Calls from USA to China Without Hassles or Poor Quality

Shanghai ChinaCalling colleagues, partners, vendors, and others in China from USA can quickly become expensive.

While cheap international calling cards are available, it’s a hassle to enter PIN codes each time, and you may not have the ongoing need or call volume to justify signing up for a recurring service.

Meanwhile, VoIP calls lack the audio quality and reliability required for professional conversations.

Fortunately, it’s possible to make cheap international phone calls from USA to China without having to enter a lengthy PIN number each time or suffer through horrible audio quality.

Here’s how:

  • Sign up — Our service offers the cheap international calling rates to China and dozens of other countries around the world — with no hidden fees or taxes! There are also no monthly fees, activation fees, cancellations charges, or any other fees to worry about.
  • Load up your account — Our Flex Plan is prepaid, so buy a suitable number of minutes. These minutes can be used from USA to China as well as to any of the other 240 supported countries.
  • Download one of our free mobile apps — Apps make dialing fast and easy, helping you to avoid the pesky problem of memorizing and entering a lengthy PIN.
  • Set up Caller ID recognition — Here’s another way to avoid having to enter a PIN: Caller ID recognition. This feature recognizes and associates your registered phone with your account so that you can quickly place calls to China using the Flex Plan and bypassing your local carrier.
  • Enjoy exceptional audio quality when calling people in China — Whether calling someone in Beijing or a remote rural area, your cheap USA to China phone call will be routed over a modern telecommunications network for the ultimate in reliability and sound quality. Should you get a bad international circuit when calling China, simply press # # followed by * # to terminate the call and redial it on a fresh circuit. This is rarely necessary with our network, but it’s a great option should you need it.

The combination of ultra-cheap international long distance rates with no hidden fees, quality and reliability, and dialing conveniences make our services an excellent choice for making cheap international phone calls to China — or the rest of the world.

View more details about cheap China calls and beyond

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How to Use Desktop Video Conferencing to Hold a Parent Support Group Board Meeting

Board Meeting Conference CallSchool parent support groups (PSGs), or “booster” clubs as they’re often called, often run on shoestring budgets with limited resources. Board members tend to be parent volunteers who juggle full-time work with their volunteer activities.

Most board meetings take place at the school, in a restaurant, or at a member’s home. Video conferencing for PSGs and booster groups has previously been unattainable due to the costs, equipment, and long-term commitments involved.

That is changing with Video Pro’s affordable month-to-month plans. Holding a board meeting using desktop video conferencing can save everyone time and hassle while still accomplishing everything you need to accomplish.

Here’s how to use desktop video conferencing to hold a booster club board meeting.

Use a Month-to-Month Plan

Many booster clubs are active for just a few months per year such as during football or marching band season. Rather committing to a full year, choose a month-to-month video conferencing plan and use it only during your PSG’s active season. Perhaps you want to meet using a video conference during the summer months when board members are on vacation and then in person once the school year begins. A month-to-month plan gives you that flexibility, allowing you to turn on and off the service and keep your costs low.

Determine How Many Active Cameras You Really Need

Our plans are based on the number of attendees and active cameras. For most PSG boards, the basic 10-attendees-and-4-cameras-plan will be just right. In a typical board meeting, not all board members will need to appear on camera. You might have the coach, president, treasurer, and ways and means chairperson on camera with everyone else contributing to the conversation via VoIP or phone. Meanwhile, they’ll benefit from being able to see the presenters and any shared resources placed on the computer screen. They’ll also be able to contribute to collaborative notes, exchange messages in chat, or take over the presenter controls as needed.

Holding the Board Meeting via Desktop Video Conference

Once signed up for a plan, you’re ready to begin hosting board meetings via video conferencing:

  • Schedule your board meeting with your fellow board members as usual, making sure to provide them with the video conference log-in instructions. Video Pro is all browser-based, so there’s no software to install. If they know how to use a simple website, they know how to use Video Pro!
  • Show your secretary how to add the agenda to a collaborative note as well as how to use the private notes feature to take the meeting minutes from within the video conference. Your attendees will be able to contribute to collaborative notes, saving everyone time. For example, your ways and means chairperson could fill in the details for upcoming fundraisers, allowing everyone else to skip note-taking for that section of the meeting.
  • Plan your multimedia presentations and gather any necessary files for sharing with the group. For example, screen sharing allows you to share a PowerPoint presentation, your team’s new uniform design, or even YouTube videos.

Your board may be skeptical about attending a board meeting from the comfort of their homes at first, but the convenience, audio and video quality, and time savings are sure to win them over.

Try a free 30-day trial today

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How to Host a Press Conference Versus a Conference Call

Press Conference CallPress conferences don’t always involve a spokesperson standing at a podium in a roomful of reporters.

While that’s a common scenario at the White House, in the movies, or for big and breaking news stories, holding in-person press conferences isn’t practical for smaller news stories. Hosting a press conference using a conference call is a practical alternative with a broad reach (including international if required). Here’s what you need to know.

How Conference Call-based Press Conferences Work

Conference call-based press conferences work much like any other type of conference call in that the host sets up the conference call, invites participants, (in this case, members of the press), and interacts with attendees during a live call.

However, there are a few considerations with a press conference.

  • Access — For example, is this a local story, a national one, or an international one? If you’re inviting local reporters only, access to the call is less complicated than if you’re inviting a larger press pool or international reporters. Fortunately, we offer local, domestic, and international access numbers, making it easy for reporters to join your conference from around the world.
  • Convenience — The easier it is to initiate and manage a conference call the better. Our dashboard, mobile app, and phone menu features are user-friendly and ready to be used on short notice. You can even record your press conference quickly and easily.
  • Call management — For many press conferences, especially those with large audiences, it may be necessary to book an “event conference call” rather than a standard conference call. With this service, our live operators assist with the logistics of the call while a dedicated event conference call director oversees everything. For example, we manage the question and answer queue, prioritizing and presenting relevant questions so that you can focus on communicating with the press and not on scrolling through a list of questions.
  • User experience — The press has the option to join your press conferences or not. If your agency’s press conferences have horrible sound quality or are poorly managed, your attendees may leave early, if not right away. They may not join future press conferences, resulting in less reach for your stories. Our domestic, international, and event conference calling plans use modern digital fiberoptic PSTN networks for crisp, clear connections every time.

Tips for a Successful Conference Call-based Press Conference

  • Provide local or toll free access numbers (this includes international access numbers for international correspondents) — No one wants to worry about using up their personal minutes or paying long distance. We offer local and toll free access numbers for cities and countries around the globe.
  • Start and end on time — Journalists are busy and have tight deadlines, making it important to adhere to your stated timeline.
  • Explain how to access a recording of the conference call (if applicable) — If you will be recording the call, let attendees know how to access the recording after the call. For example, will you email it upon request or post it to your website?
  • Take advantage of our event conferencing services — As the spokesperson for your organization, you don’t have to do it all. Our event conferencing team is here to help.

Learn more about domestic or international press conference calls

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How to Change a Global Virtual Number’s Destination Number

Virtual Number ChangeGlobal virtual numbers are special phone numbers that lack a permanent, physical phone connection. Rather, these numbers are routed to a destination phone which rings when the virtual number is called. With our global call forwarding service, you can change the destination number as needed.

Here’s what you need to know.

Depending on your needs, you might designate a “ring to” phone that’s located in your office, home, or a call center. You could even designate a mobile phone. When you first order one of our global virtual phone numbers, you’re initially prompted to enter its destination number. However, you might want to change it for various reasons. For example:

  • One-time ring-to number changes — Let’s say your virtual number has been ringing to your main office for several months, but call volume has increased and it’s time to have your call center take over. Switching the ring-to number from your main office to your call center would be a permanent or semi-permanent change. Likewise, if the physical office where your ring-to number rings has to change all of its phone numbers due to a move or area code change, you’d need to change the destination number to the new physical phone number.
  • On-the-fly ring-to number changes — You may also want to change the destination number more frequently as various scenarios play out. For example, small offices may need a few hours without incoming phone calls during meetings, training, or special events, in which case, changing the ring-to number so that another branch office can handle those calls would ensure that callers receive the help they need while the office staff attends to other matters.

Regardless of why you might like to change a virtual number’s destination number, the process is a simple matter of logging in to your global virtual phone number account with your account number and PIN and then editing the “modify to” field with the new ring-to number. Click the Submit Modifications button to complete the process in real time.

  • Periodic ring-to number changes based on time of day — For many businesses, especially global ones that receive calls originating in countries in different time zones, changing the destination number based on the time of day makes a lot of sense. For example, your main office might close at 5:00pm local time, but your callers in a different country or time zone are still calling during normal business hours for their locale. To solve this, you could set up your virtual number’s ring-to number to change to another call center or office that is able to take those calls at that time of day. While you could do this on-the-fly each night, using our time-of-day call forwarding option automates this process.

The ability to change the destination number for your virtual number makes our global call forwarding numbers extremely versatile and portable. Offered on a monthly basis with no contracts and with competitive pricing, there’s no risk in getting started with your own virtual number. Cancel at any time. There’s no need to wait for the phone company or commit to a given location or plan for the long term. Get started today and change your destination number as your needs change.

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Origins of Telecommunications: The Role of Microwave Communications

Microwave tower communicationConveniences such as telephones, electricity, and microwave ovens have changed how we communicate, live and work, and even cook our meals. While we’re all familiar with the household microwave, did you know that microwave technology is commonly used in telecommunications? It’s not just for cooking food!

Microwave communications began to be developed in the 1940s by Western Union as a means of wireless data communication, much like radio communications. In fact, radio waves and microwaves are neighbors on the electromagnetic spectrum.

Western Union had already been in the business of sending telegrams across wires and later, wirelessly over radio waves. For example, in 1904, its technology could send two telegrams simultaneously on one wire; by 1914, capacity increased to the sending of 8 telegrams simultaneously on a single wire; by 1944, that capacity had increased to 288 telegrams on two wires. Sending signals over radio waves and microwave towers, 2000 telegrams could be sent simultaneously.

Western Union’s first experimental microwave relay system was authorized by the FCC in March 1945 between New York City and Philadelphia. It consisted of a series of terminals and relay stations.

Microwave signals can be blocked by obstacles, so a series of tall towers within line-of-sight from one to the next is required to ensure messages reach their intended destination.

Western Union wasn’t the only company to work on microwave communications, but it was definitely one of the early entrants. Other companies experimenting with microwave communication included Philco, Raytheon, AT&T, and IBM / GE.

Just as Apple, Google, and Samsung often get into patent and intellectual property disputes with one another, these early telecom companies had their share of battles including disputes over FCC’s microwave frequency allocations, licensing, and transmission tariffs.

Today, microwave communication is still commonly used by several industries particularly in rural, mountainous areas or countries where establishing physical lines is difficult and cost-prohibitive. Microwave towers can transmit data over long distances without wires, making this technology attractive to telecommunications services providers, power utilities, and public safety agencies.

In the telecommunications sector, microwave is used to transmit wireless and landline communications alike as well as Internet data. Broadcasters also use microwave communications for video and radio transmissions.

As with the evolution of other telecommunications technologies, microwave communications technology has moved into the digital era. Digital microwave systems tend to have more reliable, advanced technologies with modern protocols and higher bandwidth.

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“Microwave Communication – Towers and Remote Monitoring.” n.d. Accessed November 23, 2017. http://www.dpstele.com/network-monitoring/microwave/index.php

“Patent US2705752 – Microwave Communication System – Google Patents.” n.d. Accessed November 23, 2017. https://www.google.com/patents/US2705752

“The Economics of Innovation in the Telecommunications Industry – John R. McNamara – Google Books.” n.d. Accessed November 23, 2017. https://books.google.com/books?id=UWTe7hkjYkYC&pg=PA20&lpg=PA20&dq=western+union+microwave+communications+patent&source=bl&ots=No0QDHsBcK&sig=t6ktRePOo8tqRmuOrItwUw7xcDg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjQ-rDSwNPXAhVD32MKHbUgA5YQ6AEILTAD#v=onepage&q=western%20union%20microwave%20communications%20patent&f=false

“Western Union Microwave Network Survey | History Sidebar.” n.d. Accessed November 23, 2017. http://blog.historian4hire.net/specials/wutco-survey/

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How to Divert Calls from Africa to USA

Johannesburg Ponte BuildingCountries throughout Africa are developing rapidly, making the entire continent a broad and compelling market.

US business providing goods or services in African markets can benefit from call diversion.

Here’s how to divert calls from Africa to USA.

  • Get a virtual number specific to the African country you are serving — We have global virtual numbers for many countries in Africa including South Africa, Kenya, Burkina Faso, Malawi, Morocco, Egypt, and others.
  • For example, you can get a local or toll free Kenya virtual phone number that works exactly like any other Kenyan phone number to callers in that country. Even the ringtone that the callers hear while the call is being routed to your US phone number would sound familiar. There’s no international country or exit codes for your callers to worry about, and their costs, if any, would be as expected (or free if you choose toll free).
  • When ordering your virtual phone number, you’ll first choose the country from the dropdown list and then choose from available options such as toll free or a regional / local number for the country. Depending on your choice and number availability, you may also be prompted to select the specific phone number you would like to use. If not prompted, your new African call divert number will be provided upon activation.
  • Choose your USA ring-to number — This is the phone that receives the calls from Africa. Because your call divert numbers are virtual, you can assign them to any phone in the world. Note that you can change this ring-to number at any time and this includes call forwarding to any phone or VoIP/SIP address in any country.
  • Choose the most appropriate calling plan — Our international call diversion plans are available in several tiers, all on a monthly basis with no contracts. You can cancel at any time, making it easy to test the service or use it for short-term calling needs.
  • Set up time of day routing — There’s a large time difference between Africa and USA, making it smart to divert your calls on a specific schedule based on the time of day. You may want to divert calls to your East Coast office at one point in the day and then to your West Coast office at another time to allow for a live response as calls come in from Africa. For times when it’s not practical to answer the calls live, you could also set up voicemail to answer. All of these time-of-day options can be configured so that they happen automatically.
  • Share your new call divert number — Once activated and configured, it’s time to start using it.

Diverting calls from Africa to USA is easy, convenient, and affordable. You can get started in minutes.

Read on about global virtual numbers and international call forwarding here

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Origins of Telecommunications – History of Telephone Operators

Telephone Operators 1952When you think of the classic telephone switchboard operator of yesteryear, what image comes to mind? Chances are, it’s a kindly woman, cheerfully greeting and connecting callers.

While that image is largely accurate, the first switchboard operators were actually teenage boys, many of whom were curt and rude. And, while the profession is generally considered obsolete thanks to the evolution of technology, live operators are alive and well today. Here’s a quick look at the history of telephone operators.

Boys at the Switchboard

From the late 1800s through the middle of the 20th century, early telephones required the use of switchboards and human switchboard operators to physically connect phone lines so that people could speak to one another. The first telephone operator was George Willard Croy who started working for Boston Telephone Dispatch in January 1878.

Other teenage boys were hired, earning a reputation for being rude and rambunctious.

The First Female Operator

The new male-dominated profession soon gave way to an influx of female operators, starting with the hiring of Emma Nutt in September 1878. She was hired by Alexander Graham Bell who reportedly believed that female operators would be a solution to the existing rude and unruly workforce. Emma Nutt was the world’s first female telephone operator, and her sister, Stella, became the world’s second just a few hours later.

With her soothing voice and polite demeanor, Emma became the ideal model for the profession. Within two years, nearly all telephone switchboard operators were women. Not only were women considered a better choice for the job due to their kindly and courteous nature, they were paid significantly less than their male counterparts. Emma Nutt reportedly worked 54 hours per week for a salary of just $10 per month.

Job Qualifications

Women flocked to the new profession, seeing it as a step up from working as a maid or in a factory. Plus, getting hired as a telephone operator didn’t require any special skills. The job qualifications involved passing height, weight, and arm length tests to make sure they physically fit in the cramped quarters of a central switching office. By World War I, more than the New England area had more than 8,000 female telephone operators.

Job Duties

The job itself involved answering the incoming call, asking for the number, and then connecting the corded plug into the appropriate circuit on the switchboard. Telephone operators were not allowed to speak to one another and were expected to sit with perfect posture for long hours, all the while maintaining a pleasant demeanor to callers.

It was a high pressure job with intensive supervision and military-like discipline. Many operators were expected to work two shifts per day with a three-hour break, unpaid, in between, resulting in an extended and exhausting work day.

Telephone Switchboard Operators Go On Strike

In 1919, New England Telephone Company’s telephone operators went on strike seeking higher wages and better working conditions — and causing New England’s business community to come to a screeching halt. Their demands were met within a week’s time. They won the battle (a wage increase, better working hours, and the right to organize) but in an unintended consequence, ultimately lost. Phone companies wanted to reduce their reliance on operators, and they did by introducing automatic dialing telephones which eliminated the need for local switchboard operators.

Telephone Operators Today

While the classic switchboard operator of the past became obsolete, live operator assistance is still available, albeit in a different form. For example, 911 operators play a critical role in emergency response systems. Likewise, live operators are commonly used to help manage the technical logistics of international conference calls and large teleconferences.

Read on about international telecommunications here

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“Emma Nutt: The Woman Who Made History by Answering the Phone.” n.d. Accessed October 27, 2017. http://time.com/4011936/emma-nutt/

“RichardHowe.com | Women Telephone Operators on Strike – April 20, 1919.” n.d. Accessed October 27, 2017. http://richardhowe.com/2011/04/20/women-telephone-operators-on-strike-april/

“Switchboard Operator – Wikipedia.” n.d. Accessed October 27, 2017. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switchboard_operator

“Telephone Operators – Engineering and Technology History Wiki.” n.d. Accessed October 27, 2017. http://ethw.org/Telephone_Operators

“Telephone Operators Strike.” n.d. Accessed October 27, 2017. https://www.massmoments.org/moment-details/telephone-operators-strike.html

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Origins of Telecom – Clandestine Communications

Clandestine CommunicationsNecessity, they say, is the mother of invention. In the case of organized crime, the need to stay under the radar of authorities required finesse and innovation.

Meanwhile, crime fighters have an ever-present need to catch bad guys and provide admissible evidence of their wrongdoing.

Below are a few of the early telecommunications technologies used on both sides of the law.

Secret Signals

Secret signals, such as an elaborate knock on the door or animal calls, have long been used by criminals to communicate. The 19th century “father of criminology,” Hanns Gross, described “contact calls,” which were almost always animal imitations, as a means of communication between criminals during the commission of a crime. For example, burglars wouldn’t want to make unwanted noises that would draw attention to themselves, but they might need to signal their partners in crime. By using animal calls, like an owl’s hoot, they could do just that and no one else would think twice about it.

The Black Box – Untraceable Phone Calls

A previously respectable inventor, Walter Shaw, invented a device for the mafia that was called the “black box.” This device allowed callers to make free long distance calls that were untraceable. Not only could criminals discuss their nefarious deals without incurring toll charges, authorities would never be able to trace those calls or prove a phone conversation took place.

The Dictograph

The Dictograph, which arrived in the early 1900s and ushered in the wiretapping era, was a device used to pick up sounds in one room and transmit them to a device in another room. Live stenographers were often stationed in the second room to listen in and transcribe conversations. The Dictograph could be configured two ways: as an intercom in full view or stripped down and hidden to secretly monitor conversations.

Companies like Standard Oil and Westinghouse soon began using the Dictograph as an eavesdropping device as did the US Secret Service and other government agencies. It was later used in legislative offices, recording bribes and other misdeeds. The Dictograph became an important tool among police, private detectives, and lawyers. Because of the potential for being used for evil, the device was not sold to the general public and was available only via a lease or rent, with up to 800 devices reportedly available for rent in Chicago alone. Criminals likely used the Dictograph as well, with blackmail being a logical use case.

Bug Detectors

Whether concerned about law enforcement, political enemies, criminals, or other nations listening in, the wiretapping era created a new need: detection of listening devices. One such device, a “covert transmitter detector,” was patented in the 1960s and was able to detect radio signals emitted from bugs without the need to tune into each specific frequency.

All kinds of gadgets exist today to listen in to or escape detection. Law enforcement officers use “stingray” devices to trick cell phones into connecting to bogus cell phone towers so that they can determine the cell phone’s location and intercept incoming and outgoing communications. Those seeking privacy, including business users, activists, journalists, whistle blowers, and criminals alike have the Tor network, which completely anonymitizes their online communications. Though technology may evolve, it’s an age-old story where tools can be used for good or for evil.— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

“Clandestine COmmunications.” n.d. http://www.markmirabello.com/uploads/3/9/5/9/395973/clandestinecommunications.pdf

“Dictograph | Definition of Dictograph by Merriam-Webster.” n.d. Accessed November 10, 2017. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Dictograph

“HOots, Crows, and Whistles: Criminals Using Animal Calls as Secret Signals.” n.d. Accessed November 10, 2017. https://www.annmarieackermann.com/animal-calls-as-secret-signals

“Patent US2193102 – Dictograph – Google Patents.” n.d. Accessed November 10, 2017. https://www.google.com/patents/US2193102

“Patent US3473127 – Covert Transmitter Detector – Google Patents.” n.d. Accessed November 10, 2017a. https://www.google.com/patents/US3473127

———. “Patent US3473127 – Covert Transmitter Detector – Google Patents.” n.d. Accessed November 10, 2017b. https://www.google.com/patents/US3473127

“Tor: The Good. The Bad. The Anonymous.” n.d. Accessed November 10, 2017. https://www.serviceobjects.com/resources/articles-whitepapers/tor-network-whitepaper

“Turns Out Police Stingray Spy Tools Can Indeed Record Calls | WIRED.” n.d. Accessed November 10, 2017. https://www.wired.com/2015/10/stingray-government-spy-tools-can-record-calls-new-documents-confirm/

“Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance in America, 1862-1920 – Kerry Segrave – Google Books.” n.d. Accessed November 10, 2017. https://books.google.com/books?id=USZiBAAAQBAJ&pg=PA165&lpg=PA165&dq=wiretapping+detector+invention&source=bl&ots=QBwcvZLVrz&sig=1wnvwRI70ph3vm59R9GoHEABmXE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjRhLmyiLXXAhXE0FQKHaCsBfUQ6AEIbTAM#v=onepage&q=wiretapping%20detector%20invention&f=false

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How to Set Up an Informational Help Line

Informational Help LineInformational phones numbers are commonly used to relay recorded information to callers. For example, in a crisis or natural disasters, callers could call a toll free number to hear the latest advisories or find out about road closures.

Businesses often use informational telephone recordings to relay information about job openings, requests for bids, or product information. Recordings can also be used for educational or entertainment purposes.

If your organization commonly relays the same information over and over, it may make sense to set up an informational helpline where callers can dial in to hear your message. Here’s how to do it.

  • Obtain a virtual phone number in either a local or toll free format. With virtual numbers, you do not need a physical phone in order to receive calls or set up outgoing recorded messages. You can designate a “ring to” number and change it frequently. In this use case, you can either configure the main number as a “sizzle” number or set up a series of message only extensions.
  • Option A – Set up a “sizzle” number. A sizzle number is a type of informational phone number that plays a prerecorded message, much like a voicemail message but longer and without the prompt for callers to record a message for you. Instead, callers listen to your recorded message.
  • Option B – Configure the virtual phone number so that the auto attendant routes callers to various “message only” extensions. Each extension can address a specific topic. For example, the initial greeting could prompt callers to press ‘101’ for information about your request for proposals, press ‘102’ for information about a product recall, or press ‘103’ for current job openings. From there, you’d set up each extension with the appropriate recording.
  • Set up your calls to action (if any) – Recorded messages used to be relatively passive. Callers called the informational help line, listened to the information, and then hung up. With one of our modern virtual phone numbers, you can make your help line much more interactive by adding calls to action. For example, you could instruct callers to visit your website, prompt them to leave a voicemail or press a button to speak to a live person, or ask them to answer yes or no questions using an interactive voice response system.

It’s helpful to plot out your informational help line’s script and menu system on paper before recording your messages. Simplicity is key to a good user experience, so keep that in mind as you design your prompts.

Our virtual numbers are both affordable and offered on a month-to-month basis with no contracts, making it quick and easy to set up informational help lines as needed — even for temporary projects. Thus, you could set up individual help lines for each of your projects. Once the project is over and the information no longer needs to be put out there, you can cancel the help line with no consequences.

Global Call Forwarding
Toll Free and Local Numbers Worldwide

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Cross Border Business – How to Set Up Call Forwarding Numbers for Mexico-USA Phone Calls

By Alex Covarrubias, 9 April 2006 Based on the arms by Juan Gabino. [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsUS businesses with partners, suppliers, or customers in Mexico are often geographically close, such as is the case with San Diego and Tijuana, Laredo and Nuevo Laredo, El Paso and Juarez, but internationally challenged.

While free trade agreements help keep goods and services flowing across borders, the simple act of making a phone call can still cause friction between people on both sides of the border. Setting a Mexico call forwarding number is one way to ease the burden. Here’s how to do it.

Choose between Toll Free or Local Call Forwarding Numbers

Toll free call forwarding numbers for Mexico are ideal if your partners or customers are located throughout Mexico. They work just like toll free numbers in the United States in that callers are not charged for the call, but you can set them up so that while the number originates in Mexico, the call actually rings to a phone in the United States. In Mexico, you can choose a traditional or mobile accessible toll free number.

On the other hand, if your business caters to Mexican customers in a specific city, such as Tijuana, Mexico City, Puebla or Monterrey, getting a local call forwarding phone number for that city adds to your business’s local appeal. While you’ll set up call forwarding to ring to a US phone, to callers, it will seem as if they are calling a business in their own community.

Select the Phone Number

As you work your way through the sign-up process, you’ll need to select your new call forwarding number. First, select from Mexico Toll Free, Mexico (1800) Mobile Accessible, Mexico Mobile Accessible, or any one of the dozens of listed Mexican cities. Depending on the type of number selected, the number may be provided to you upon activation. If given a choice, choose the new number that you like best.

Enter Your USA Ring To Number

Also called a destination number, this is the phone where you’ll answer your incoming calls from Mexico. You can change this number at any time, making cross border call forwarding a flexible communications option.

You can also configure your Mexico call forwarding number to ring to specific extensions or to different phone numbers in a specific order. The built-in voice response system serves as a virtual PBX system, routing callers to the appropriate person, department, or voice mailbox.

Choose a Monthly Plan and Any Options You Might Want

Our Mexico call forwarding numbers are offered month-to month, in several plans: Basic, Value, Power, Premium, and Enterprise. Each plan includes a predetermined number of minutes and advanced features. Optional features like call recording and rollover minutes are available. Activate your new call forwarding number and share it with your contacts in Mexico.

Flexibility Built In

Setting up cross border call forwarding numbers between Mexico and USA is an easy, affordable solution for any US business with partners, suppliers, customers and other contacts in Mexico. It’s also extremely flexible, especially with our contract-free service that scales up and down as your needs change. You can even cancel with no penalties, no questions asked.

Read on https://www.aitelephone.com/global-call-forwarding.html

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How to Set Up International Communications for a Remote Branch Office

Communication Contact Phone ConnectionAs a business expands internationally, it often becomes necessary to open satellite offices or use international call forwarding numbers to communicate with suppliers, partners, and customers in the new market.

In many cases, using international call forwarding numbers can eliminate the need to establish a physical office completely. If you do have a physical location, you can use these same numbers strategically to keep your international calling costs as low as possible.

Setting Up A Branch Office to Receive Incoming International Phone Calls

Your branch office employees will need a basic phone system with local phone numbers just as they would if located within your same country, so the initial set-up process is the same. However, those local numbers will be international phone numbers to everyone outside of the branch office’s country, complete with potentially high international calling costs.

If you’d like your domestic team to be able to dial up the remote office without the added confusion and high cost of international long distance, using an international call forwarding number is a convenient, cost-effective option.

Order an international call forwarding number that’s local (or toll free, if desired) to the callers’ country. For example, if your main office is in USA and your branch office is in Brazil, you’ll want to order an international call forwarding number that originates in USA. That way, it will look and act like any other USA phone number.

Set the destination or “ring to” number to the branch office’s main phone number. In this example, you’d set it up so that the USA number rings to your branch office in Brazil.

Setting Up a Branch Office for Outgoing International Phone Calls

Now, do the reverse so that your branch office employees can place a local (or toll free) phone call to reach your main office in another country. In this example, you’d need to order a Brazil call forwarding number and then set its ring to number to your main USA office number. Once complete, your Brazilian branch office employees can call your main USA office simply by dialing a local phone number.

Advanced Techniques

In either case, advanced features such as auto attendant, time of day routing, and more can be set up to provide even more value. For example, if you have bilingual staff members who speak English and Portuguese, you could set up sequential routing so that the incoming calls ring to those staff members first. Likewise, instead of buying an expensive phone system for a small branch office, you could set up your international call forwarding number to serve as a “virtual PBX” system, complete with individual extensions and voicemail boxes.

Your business will still incur international calling costs using this strategy. However, bypassing each country’s default international dialing options is a great way to save money. Our international call forwarding rates are extremely competitive, and all calls are carried over modern PSTN telecommunications networks for the highest audio quality available. 

View services aitelephone.com

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How to Set Up International Audio Conference Calling for Branch Offices

Conference Calling for Branch OfficesIf your business consists of a main office and one or more branch offices around the world, setting up audio-based international conference calling is an excellent way to facilitate teamwork and communications.

With audio conferencing, there’s no special equipment needed. All anyone needs is a standard telephone, a local access number, and availability to participate.

Our international conference calling service offers local and toll free access numbers for countries around the world.

Here’s how to set up your conference calls with easy access for global branch offices.

  • Sign up for one of our pay-as-you-go international conference calling plans. These are no contract plans with support for countries around the world, exceptional call quality, premium features, and low per minute costs. Ideally, the plan you select should offer local or toll free access numbers for the countries in which your branch offices are located. If the country is not supported, that’s okay as you can dial and connect those locations manually.
  • Plan your first international branch office conference call. Your branch offices will be given local or toll free access numbers unique to their own countries along with a conference PIN number to enter the call. Meanwhile, participants located in your own country will dial a domestic or toll free access number to join the call. You could have participants dialing in from USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, Italy, and other countries, all dialing unique and local phone numbers to join your call.
  • Identify any branch office participants that might need to be connected manually. This can happen if the branch office is located in a country that is not supported with local or toll free access numbers or where the per minute international rates are higher than you’d like. In either case, the workaround would be to use the chairperson dial-out feature or operator assistance. You could also encourage those users to connect using the free CONNECT app. This free app is a convenient choice for participants using web-connected smartphones or in countries that are not supported with local access numbers. The Connect app works worldwide, connecting participants with just a tap.
  • Each branch offices can be a sub-account of the main conferencing account.  For example, a bank with it’s headquarters in the US has international branches located in the London UK, Madrid Spain, Paris France and Australia.  Each of these branches can have their own independent set of pass-codes to host on demand conference calls from their location.  All usage is detailed for end of the month billing with calls itemized by branch office for cost accounting purposes.
  • Host your first audio conference. Once the logistics have been worked out and the appointed time has arrived, host your conference call. All participants from your main and branch offices will dial their country-specific access codes, connect via the Connect app, or be connected manually using the dial-out feature or operator assistance. They’ll enter the conference room PIN and be joined into a group audio conference call.

Since our service is a pay-as-you-go audio conferencing plan, you can hold global conference calls with your branch offices according to a schedule of your own design. There’s no need to maintain a minimum or pay for services you’re not using. And the audio quality is beyond compare. Sign up for a trial account and start audio conferencing with your branch offices now.

learn more here

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How to Get a Virtual Number for Canada that Rings to a Phone in the United States

Business between Canada and USAUS-based businesses often do business with partners and customers in Canada.

As with other international communications, local phone numbers help to avoid negative perceptions and make it easier for Canadians to call your business in the United States.

Here’s how to set up a virtual number for Canada so that it rings to a phone in the United States.

What is a Canada Virtual Number?
A Canadian virtual number is a type of international remote call forwarding number that can be set up to ring to a physical phone located somewhere else, such as in the United States. To the caller in Canada, the number looks and acts like a local or toll free number. For example, it could have an area code for Toronto, Québec, or one dozens of cities in Canada, yet you can set up the call to be answered in New York, Miami, Los Angeles, or whichever city you prefer.

Ordering and Configuring a Canada Virtual Phone Number
Our contract-free worldwide call divert plan is easy, affordable, and highly configurable to best meet your call forwarding needs. Here’s how to order and configure your virtual number:

1. Choose the Canada virtual phone number type — You’ll be presented with several choices: Toll free (1-888, 1-877, 1-866, 1-855, 1-844, and 1-833), premium toll free (1-800), and more than 100 cities across multiple area codes. For example, if you want a local Edmonton phone number, scroll through the list and choose one of the Edmonton area codes offered.

2. Choose the phone number (if offered) — Depending on the selection, you may be shown the new phone number right away. If so, click the dropdown to see other available phone numbers and make your selection. If not, the phone number will be provided to you upon activation.

3. Enter your destination phone number — This is the phone number where your incoming calls from Canada will be forwarded. You can change this number at any time. For example, if you want your calls to be answered at your main office in Boston, enter that phone number here.

4. Select the desired monthly plan — We offer several plans with different levels of prepaid minutes. If you would like optional rollover minutes, make sure to click the checkbox next to “Add rollover.” Optional call recording is also available after your account has been provisioned.

5. Complete the transaction — Follow the prompts to add your plan to your shopping cart and complete the transaction.

From there, your account will be activated and a confirmation email sent to you. The confirmation email will contain the following information:

• Your new Canada virtual phone number
• Your account number, PIN, and Customer Portal address

To view your call history, change your ring to number, or manage your account, simply log into the Customer Portal. Remember, you can upgrade or downgrade your account as needed or cancel at anytime.

Learn more  https://www.aitelephone.com/global-call-forwarding.html

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