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How to use your mobile for conference calling without paying the price

Are conference calls free from my mobile? How do I set one up?

These are very common questions and armed with a little knowledge, it’s very easy to set up and dial into conference calls from your mobile phone at no extra cost.

To achieve this you’ll need to find a service that can provide you with teleconference dial-in details, and you’ll need to make sure that the call you make will be included in your mobile call allowance. This is important because it means you won’t get stung by hidden call charges then next time you receive your phone bill.

Many mobile service providers offer free minutes to their customers as part of their service plan. These are often advertised as ‘unlimited minutes’ or ‘X minutes per month’. By choosing a conference call service that allows you to use up these free minutes, you and your teleconference participants can save a fortune on call charges.
 

Save a fortune with an 03 dial-in number

The golden rule when it comes to setting up a telephone conference call on your mobile is to make sure you use a service that will provide you with an 03 dial-in number.

All UK mobiles and landline can take advantage of 03 numbers to avoid unnecessary call charges.

According to official Ofcom regulations calls to 03 numbers cannot cost more than a national rate call to an 01 or 02 number and must count towards any inclusive minutes in the same way as 01 and 02 calls.

So how do you get started? Follow these simple instructions…
 

How to set up a conference call from your mobile

  1. Pick up your mobile and dial 033 3443 4567 (UK local call – included in your minutes);
  2. Press the * key when prompted to receive your free dial-in details;
  3. Share your details with your guests, letting them know the time of your call;
  4. When the time comes, everyone dials in using your details and is instantly connected.

This service is provided by WHYPAY? – one of the UK’s most popular telephone conferencing services.

WHYPAY? really does make it that simple to hold conference calls from your mobile. If you’re still sceptical about call charges, you can refer to Ofcom’s official information on 03 numbers. Ofcom is the telecommunications regulator in the UK.

Does your mobile have a built-in group calling feature?

It’s worth noting that mobile devices such as iPhones and Android phones sometimes have built-in “group call” features, which allow you make a call to one person and whilst still on the first call, dial other numbers to add them to the same call. These features can work well for three-way calls, but they often come with limits to the number of people you can join together and they rely on your participants being ready and waiting for you to call them.

In most cases you’ll be much better off using a dedicated telephone conferencing service.

Why you should use a dedicated conferencing instead:

  • You won’t have to fiddle with dialling each person into your call, one at a time;
  • You’ll have a much higher participant limit – up to 50 callers at one time;
  • Your participants will be more in control. They don’t need to be ready and waiting for you to dial them in – they simply join when they’re ready.
  • It will save you money. Instead of you making multiple simultaneous calls to each participant, you and your participants make one call each, using your inclusive landline/mobile minutes (see below).

Conference calls from mobiles happen every day

Many people need to be constantly on the move, which makes mobile phones the preferred mode of communication. After all, part of the beauty of conference calls is that you don’t have to be in a set location. Understandably, lots of people who travel for business or pleasure make great use of teleconferencing.

But even remote workers who might not be on the move still conference call from mobiles! Fewer people choose to have landlines at home. Consequently, more than 40% of calls are made from mobile phones, a figure constantly on the rise. That means free conference calls from mobiles are vital.
 

When conference calls aren’t free: avoid these red flags

 
While conference calls with no extra cost are possible, sadly they aren’t always offered by providers. Some teleconferencing services require participants to dial expensive numbers, meaning their conference calls cost money – sometimes lots of it.

To avoid extra costs on your conference calls, avoid these numbers.

  1. mobile short codes. These are quite apparent, because they are shorter than standard phone numbers. Calling a short code number usually comes at high cost to the dialler.
  2. premium-rate numbers. Sadly, many conference call providers still offer premium-rate dial-in numbers. Call one of these, and you’ll be hit with a huge bill – especially if you’re attending a full-length meeting.

There are a few different prefixes for premium-rate numbers and costs can vary hugely depending on your network provider and the conference call service. Ofcom refers to these as service numbers. They have both an access charge (set by your network) and a service charge (set by the company you’re calling).

  • 084 (usually 0843, 0844 and 0845) numbers have a service charge of up to 7p per minute. The additional access charge can be as much as 55p per minute.
  • 087 numbers’ service charge is even higher, ranging up to 13p for every minute you’re on the call. The access charge can reach a whopping 65p per minute.

Clearly, if your conference call has one of these dial-in numbers, then your conference calls will cost extra – sometimes a lot extra.

 

What do you lose (or gain) with free conference calls from mobiles?

Hearing of the possibility of free conference calls often makes people wonder why anybody would pay. The simple fact is that they shouldn’t. It’s one thing to pay for a paid plan with a conferencing provider. That can give you as the conference call organiser really useful features. But neither the host nor any participants should pay to dial into a conference call, whether from a mobile or a landline.

Even if you sign up to WHYPAY?’s free plan, though, you’ll have an incredibly valuable (yet completely free) communication tool at your finger tips. Once you create your account, you’ll get your permanent Conference Room Number and PIN, as well as your 03 dial-in number. These are all you and your participants need to join a conference call. Each caller pays for their respective call at the same rate as a landline number or enjoy a free call if any free minutes are available.

It is essential to choose the right provider that can meet your conference calling needs. Providers such as WHYPAY? offer various flexible plans to suit your business requirements. If you have a number of participants joining conference calls from mobile phones, it is worth considering providers such as WHYPAY? since there are big savings to be made. Besides, there are plenty of features to ensure that you get the best out of each teleconference. Participants can also be notified about the time and schedule of the teleconference. Most importantly, you can enjoy safe and secure conference calls at an affordable price or at no cost at all from your mobile phone.
 

Conference call with confidence

If you want to guarantee that you get free conference calls from mobiles, be sure to check your contract with your network provider. Key points to find out are:

  • do you have bundled minutes?
  • how many bundled minutes do you have?
  • are calls to UK landlines (and 03 numbers) included in your bundled minutes?
  • are there restrictions relating to the time of day, or day of the week, when inclusive minutes are applicable?
  • will you start being charged per minute after the call has lasted a certain amount of time (usually 60 minutes)? If so, you can still avoid charges by hanging up around the 55th minute and re-dialling.

Your best bet to be absolutely certain that your conference call won’t have extra costs is to check with your provider.

Top UK mobile networks
EE O2
Vodafone Three
giff gaff Virgin Mobile

Once you know the terms of your contract, you can start conference calling without worrying about extra costs!

Create your WHYPAY? account today by heading to our homepage. Or just click the button below.

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