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The state of conference calls in the UK

What is a conference call?

A conference call in simple terms is a voice call between three or more people. These can be hugely beneficial to businesses that want to have a meeting with input from people in different locations without the need for all parties to travel to the same spot. A conference call can easily consist of people from many different countries, which obviously reduces the cost of travel and can also reduce the carbon emissions we put out into the atmosphere.

With many service providers a call may be limited to 40 or 50 people, but in principle there is no limit to how many people you have on a call. There are providers out there that will offer a seminar type call, that will only allow one way interaction, where the host/speaker can communicate with everyone on the call (this could be thousands of people), but those listening cannot be heard by others.

How does conference calling work in the UK?

For most of the conference calling companies in the UK you simply dial their unique telephone number and then enter the PIN for the conference call you want to participate in. With Minglur it is a very simple setup process involved, to create an account you just give us your email address and we provide you with a PIN unique to your conference. You can then pass on the our dialin number and your PIN to anyone you’d like to attend the conference call.

The first person on the call will hear hold music until the next participant joins the call. When a new member joins the call it is often announced to everyone else that they have joined. The conference call will then end once the last person has left the call.

How much do conference calls cost in the UK?

When it comes to cost, conference call providers in the UK fall into two main categories – free services and paid services.

Free conference call providers in the UK

Many of the conference call providers in the UK, like Minglur, operate a free service, you simply pay for the local rate call which is around 4.3p per minute. Each participant on the call must pay their own call cost. There is no cost for the actual service itself (other than the charge from your telephone provider)

Paid for conference call services

Unlike Minglur, there are some UK providers that offer a paid service which is in most cases not too different from the free services, except they charge you for it! They don’t really offer you any added features or better security compared with the better of the free service providers. So it doesn’t seem worthwhile paying for a service that you can get for free.

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