The sound quality of conference calls can vary from one carrier to the next. Among the many factors affecting
audio quality is the technology used to deliver the calls.
Public Switched Telephone Networks (PSTNs) are clearer than ever while newer Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
technologies are allowing for cheaper, though less clear, transmissions over the Internet.
Today, most phone users are accustomed to crystal clear sound quality thanks to digital PSTNs. However, when it
comes to low-cost conference calling plans, some are surprised at the lack of clarity.
If you want the best audio quality possible, it's crucial that you select a conference calling plan dedicated to
providing it through a combination of state-of-the-art, high quality conference call bridges, telephony software
solutions, and top tier telecommunications carriers.
PSTN vs. VoIP
Despite the alphabet soup of acronyms, PSTN and VoIP are relatively simply to understand. Public Switched Telephone
Networks are also sometimes called "Plain Old Telephone Service" for good reason: that's what they are.
Your traditional land line uses PSTN, which is a global network of circuit-switched telephone networks. These networks
are nearly completely digital and now include mobile telephones as well as landlines.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a transmission technology used for delivering voice communications over
the Internet. As with sending data files over the Internet, VoIP breaks the voice files into small "packets"
which are transmitted and reassembled over the Internet. These packets take various routes to reach the final destination
with some arriving sooner than others. While this occurs at lightning fast speeds, some audio delays, dropouts,
and "jitters" can occur with VoIP conference calls.
While VoIP conference calling is emerging as a viable, low-cost communications method, call quality has yet to
equal that of the higher quality, tried-and-true PSTN technologies where static, interference, echoes, and call
delays are virtually unheard of.
Conference Calling Bridges
Conference call bridges are used to facilitate multi-caller conference calls. Using a bridge, hefty toll charges
can be avoided and a group teleconference set up and managed. Though far out of reach pricewise for individuals
and businesses, conference calling service providers provide access to their bridges as part of their service plans.
Unless you plan on making a large capital investment in equipment and infrastructure, outsourcing your conference
call requirements makes a lot of economic sense.
Essentially, you are renting the conference call bridge when you sign up for a conference calling plan. However,
not all bridges are created equally, and sound quality can be affected.
Another factor that influences the quality of conference calls is the telephony software. Software allows for computer-based
conference calling management. For example, a teleconference plan may or may not include Web-based account management
tools and features such as autodial and call recording. While the software may not directly influence audio quality,
software is available that allows the host to identify poor quality connections and as well as mute individual
callers whose phones may be generating static and degrading the overall experience.
In addition to the transmission method, conference calling bridges, and telephony software, the underlying telecommunications
carriers used for conference calls can affect overall audio quality. Services offered, rates, and call quality
can distinguish one carrier from the next.
With so many factors involved with conference calling, it's no wonder that audio quality can suffer. For the ultimate
in crystal clear conference calls, look for a provider that:
- Uses PSTN rather than the less reliable VoIP
- Offers state-of-the-art conference calling bridges
- Offers feature-rich telephony software
- Uses top-tier telecommunications carriers
Now is an exciting time when it comes to conference calling with emerging and existing technologies converging
to deliver high quality conference calls at an affordable price.
Conference calling plans use a number of technologies to deliver multi-caller conference calls with each technology
potentially affecting the call's audio quality. Among the technologies used are PSTN and VoIP, conference calling
bridges, telephony software, and underlying telecommunications carriers. With the right technologies working together,
call quality can be exceptional.
aitelephone.com is a full service conference calling provider dedicated
to providing the highest quality conference calls available. Investments in technology, hardware, and software
as well as partnerships with leading telecommunications carriers ensure that every call is a crystal clear call.
AIT offers a number of affordable conference calling
plans including pay as you go, international conference call, unlimited flat rate, and bundled plans. Best
of all, the conference call services are triple redundant state-of-the-art conferencing bridges providing unmatched