Teleconferencing is the live interchange of information between callers who are remote from one another other, yet interconnected by a telecommunications network. A teleconference is akin to a telephone call with the advantage that it can accommodate more than two people in a conversation. In an audio conference call, a speaker phone is used, while video calls utilise cameras or modems.

The Benefits

This system of communication is especially preferred as a time-saving and money-saving tool in businesses with nerve centres in multiple locations. Moreover conference calls provide larger venues of participation for people inhabiting secluded areas since a business meeting can be handled from home as well, saving a business agency the travel costs. By having a group call to discuss priorities, more people can be incorporated into the discussion. This can advantageously affect a business since a broader perspective evolves from the feedback of so many viewpoints. Also used for educational purposes and apprentice training, this convenient system can hold the platform even when dealing with national issues, eliciting valuable responses and comments from the public.

In this crucial era of global-warming and environmental hazards, this system of meeting is preferable, indeed a “green advantage”, saving fuel and resources.

A facilitator or a group-leader usually orchestrates a conference call. Also called a moderator, the facilitator is responsible for maintaining a coherent balance of dialogues, which guarantees that all participants gets a chance to voice their concerns and viewpoints. Once all individuals concerned are given a participatory call, an appointment is fixed. After the specific issues at hand are discussed, an agenda is made, which is then clarified. The minimal equipment involved in an audio group call (usually just a telephone with teleconference services) ensures that the hassle of dealing with complicated technology is avoided.

A video call makes use of a satellite connection and personal computers (in case of multiple participants in different locations), a main computer-control system and a video camera. This facility is again very advantageous, provided that the technical aspect-well-maintained equipments in perfect working order-is efficient.

Service providers

Some teleconferencing services are completely free when set up; all charges come on a pay-per-call basis. The conferencing facilities can be customised, and as the need arises, the user can opt for audio, video or even web conferencing facilities (which employ streaming audio/video facilities with options for web-tours, text slides, polling or even PowerPoint presentations).