The costs of international conference calling have fallen dramatically over the years, but these calls are not
free. While far less expensive than holding an international meeting face-to-face, it's important to understand
the international call costs that you'll incur so that you can budget accordingly. Let's take a look at how international teleconference calls are
First, participants generally do not pay a penny. Rather, the host of the phone call is billed for the entire cost
of the call. This cost is broken down by participant, by the minute. Because calling rates vary by country, the
cost per participant will vary depending on the country in which each person resides. For example, if you have
ten participants, each living in a different country, you could have ten different per minute rates. In addition,
rates vary depending on if a caller dialed a toll free number or was called by the host using a "dial out"
In order to budget for your international conference call, you'll need to know:
- How many participants will be involved
- How each participant will access the call (toll
free access or dial out)
- Which country each participant will be calling
- How long the call is expected to last in minutes
Use a spreadsheet to create your international conference calling budget. Start by creating the following labels
along the top of the spreadsheet:
- Participant's Name
- Participant's Country
- Call Type
- Cost Per Minute (format the cells for your currency)
Now, fill in each participant's name and country. Sort your list alphabetically by country so that all participants
are grouped by country and to make your research and data entry easier. Now, go to your international conference
calling service provider's Web site and look up the rates for each country in your spreadsheet. As you're doing
so, you may find that some countries are not supported for toll free access. If so, you will need to use the calling
service's dial out feature to call participants. Enter either "toll free" or "dial out" in
the Call Type field and enter the appropriate per minute rate in the Cost Per Minute field. Also, if you will be
calling the participant's mobile phone, rates may be higher, so enter the dial out rate that corresponds to the
caller's phone type if known. If not known, err on the side of caution and enter the higher rate.
Once you've entered your call data, total the Cost Per Minute column to get a total cost per minute for the entire
group. Now, multiply this number by the number of minutes that you anticipate the teleconference to run. For example,
if you've determined that your cost per minute for all participants equals $2.56 and you expect the phone call
to last 30 minutes, then the total cost of the phone event will be $76.74.
Knowing the per minute cost of international conference calling for the entire group allows you to budget for the
call as well as prompt you to adhere to you agenda. After all, if the call runs longer than expected, the total
cost will be higher than budgeted for. Use your spreadsheet and the total cost per minute calculation to create
additional calculations so that you understand how much is at stake. For example, you're likely not concerned with
running over by a minute or two. After all, it's only a few dollars. However, one or two minutes can quickly become
ten to fifteen minutes. Knowing that fifteen minutes will cost an additional $38.37 (as it would in the example
above) will help you to manage time better. Write down the total cost in five, ten, and fifteen minute increments
and keep that list by your phone during the call.
If your estimates are higher than you'd like, consider using dial out instead of providing callers with toll free
access to the teleconference. This is because dial out international conference calling rates are usually less
expensive than toll free rates. In addition, ask participants to be available using landlines rather than mobile
phones as the cost per minute can be dramatically less expensive for landlines.
Finally, depending on the international conference calling service you are using, you may have additional fees
such as activation fees, monthly fees, or minimum usage requirements. Find out about any additional fees and factor
those into your cost estimate.
Calculating the cost of international
conference calls allows you to budget for the phone call as well as understand exactly how much the call costs
per minute for the entire group. Using the total cost per minute and figuring out the cost of the call in five,
ten, and fifteen minute increments also helps you to better manage time during the call. In addition, calculating
the call's cost in advance helps you identify ways to make it less expensive.
Calculating the cost of international
conference calling allows you to better understand the total cost per minute for the entire group as well as
manage your teleconference's time better. This simple step is easy to do and helps you identify ways to save money.
AIT offers cost-effective international conference calling plans including a "pay
as you go" plan with no monthly fees or monthly usage minimums. Simply use the service whenever you need
to host an international conference call.