No matter how well you've planned your international
conference call, you can't necessarily control per minute rates for some international countries.
The rates for many countries are likely higher than you'd like, or toll free numbers may not be available for some
of the countries involved.
Such countries may not have an international toll free number available or a 'local' access number
may be available but may be too expensive an option for your attendee because of local long distance fees imposed
by the his/her overseas phone company.
For example, a local access number supplied by an international conference call company may be located in the country
where your participant is located however it may be hundreds of miles away from your attendee. That participant
may need to pay significant long distance fees to the local phone company to join your call.
So many times a 'local' access number located in a participants country may not be a panacea because it may be
a toll call that the participant will have to pay themselves. The possibility of having a participant pay a per
minute long distance fee to join a conference call is not what many businesses want for their attendees who may
be prospective clients, customers or existing customers.
For example, assume the conference call access number is located in Ptolemaida, Greece but your participant is
located in Athens, a distance of 206 miles or 331 km. For the conference call guest to join the call, dialing into
the Ptolemaida, Greece would be required. This long distance call will most likely cost the participant a local
fee from his/her Greece phone company to join your conference call unless the Greece guest has a Greece mobile
plan or some type of national long distance plan that enables Greece nationwide long distance calling. These plans
are plentiful in the US but, at present time in 2012, not very prevalent in many countries.
Fortunately, cost-effective options exist, especially when participants in those countries could have access to
an IP phone to access your international conference call.
Using Skype to Access International Conference Calls
Why Skype? Skype is well known for its free Skype-to-Skype voice calls, but did you know
it also offers low per-minute rates for calling non-Skype phones? As of this writing, Skype has rates as low as
2.3 cents per minute to landlines in about 30 countries including USA, UK, Argentina, Spain, China, and Singapore.
In countries where toll free access is not an option, callers faced with dialing a traditional phone number and
paying the charges associated with the call, will appreciate the lower per minute rates offered by a VoIP service.
In order to connect to your international conference call using Skype, these participants will need to have either
sufficient Skype prepaid credit in their accounts or a Skype subscription. You may be surprised to learn that many
of your attendees already have unlimited Skype subscriptions, so make sure to encourage Skype calling as an option.
Using an IP Phone to Access an International Conference
While Skype is one of the best known VoIP phone services, many others exist. Individuals
and businesses alike have dropped traditional landlines in favor
of IP phones because of the significant cost savings involved with routing calls over the Internet. If you find
that international toll free access is cost prohibitive or non-existent for participants in some countries, encourage
those attendees to utilize their existing IP phone service to connect to your international conference call.
One way to encourage participation and control costs in these countries is to ask attendees if they have access
to Skype or an IP phone. If so, then encourage them to use their existing service. If not, consider using the leader
dial-out feature to automatically dial these participants when the international conference call is ready to begin.
With toll free numbers for over 62 countries, most of your guests can easily, and cost-effectively, dial in. For
those calling from countries where toll free access is not available, support for incoming Skype calls and calls
originating from IP phones is a built in feature.
In addition to Toll Free access and VoIP access, our 24 hour operators can easily place your participants in your
conference call using the international
conference call 'dial-out' option.
Mobile phone access, including calls from mobile phones
in China, is also fully supported.
For the best quality international conference call possible, host your next conference call