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How Do Conference Calls Work?

In this article we will summarise how conference calls work, to help you on your way in choosing the right solution for your company.


What first springs to mind when you hear the term conference call? Maybe a virtual meeting that is held through the use of a telephone? Yes, it is partially correct however, conference calls have evolved into one big industry that unites the workforce in different locations, an invaluable tool for companies especially large organizations.

Right now, although it is possible to arrange a conference call with analogue phones and in the long one this version can work out cheaper, the use of VoIP telephones is leading the way because technology is rapidly growing which gives us the privilege to let us view attendees in real-time with the help of computers and cameras.

A lot of companies hold meets around the globe with their clients and colleagues simultaneously by just using VoIP telephones, desktop computers or laptops with today’s technology, you will have the privilege of talking and at the same time see the people you are having a meeting with.

With the breakthrough of digital technology, several conference call service providers have also made it possible to join a conference call with the use of mobile phone devices such as Android and iOS.

The bottom line is whatever the platform you are using, conference call systems are really a great tool to collaborate much effectively which will enhance your organization’s efficiency when it comes to handling projects.

The Process of Call Conferencing

The basic necessity for a conference call for over 15 users is the conference bridge, this is a server that operates similarly to a telephone. A conference bridge has the ability to answer numerous calls at the same time because it can accommodate up to 1000 separate ports.

This conference bridge is very crucial especially if you have a lot of callers because the more callers that a session gets the more complex the process gets.

However, if you just have a few callers (the maximum of 15) then conference bridge is not a requirement at all because there will be no hassle on the people to enter into a connection that has low traffic.

For you to start a successful conference call, you will need the right hardware to do the job. There are several devices that you will need such as a computer with a decent specification for it to handle HD calls which is the current trend today in the world of conference calls.

You will also need a high-quality microphone and speakers for basic calls and for the video which is great if you want your colleagues or clients to have a clear view of your face and surroundings, you will need a high-definition webcam.

Thankfully the video has been added to the features of the conference calls because people can see the sincerity of the people that you are having a meeting with and it is like you are in the same room.

In bigger meetings that require the collaboration of almost all the employees in the same room, a projector is much commonly used for a much effective collaboration.

With a voip system, upon initiating the software that is used for conference calls you are able to request, admit, kick, and mute the attendees of a call. You as the host of the call have the power to start and end the call too.

Right after the invites are sent, the attendees will log in on the system and will need to enter the PIN for the specific conference session that they will attend.

The software is the one that is responsible for the automation.

The host is usually a trainer or a top management of the company they are either conducting training or a huddle to their employees worldwide or locally in different locations simultaneously.

The line that they are using for the conference call can be a real phone number in which the attendees are required to dial or it can also be a conference line that is virtually-made by the VoIP provider.

The providers of business VoIP normally charge users on each virtual conference room per minute, other charges may vary such as the type of conference such as audio only or with video and it all relies on the service plan selected.

However, there are also some disadvantages of having a virtual line because it consumes a lot of bandwidth which is not advisable if your company’s Internet Service Provider (ISP) is unreliable and your bandwidth is too low.

Currently, there are two types of conference calls namely:

  • Small conference calls- it is common that everyone has the privilege to speak.
  • Huge webinars- a conference call in which it is common that the host is the only one who is permitted to speak and the attendees are in mute mode and are just listening to the host.

Ad-hoc conference – this type of conference happens in an impromptu manner meaning it has no planning at all. Most of the time urgent collaboration leads to ad-hoc conferences such as a very important update or huddle to clients or colleagues.

Meet-me conference – this is a scheduled conference which requires the attendees to log-in on a specific time using an exact number or address.

There are conference call service providers that offer a wide variety of services that you can never imagine that it is possible such as HD video conferencing, screen sharing, file sharing, presentations, and many more.

These conferencing systems make the life of an employee and employer a lot easier.


To conclude, the conference call gives the ability of three or more people to converse with or without the use of video via different platforms. There are a lot of providers available, not only with the use of VoIP systems. If you already have a system provider it is worth checking if you are already able to make conference calls or if there is an additional add on available. The industry is constantly evolving to give people a much satisfying collaboration experience.

Author: Yazz

Yazz is a trained telecommunications engineer with a diploma in telecommunications. He has spent the last 15 years working for Telefonica, one of the largest telephone operators and mobile network providers in the world.