Sunday, September 12, 2010
Free conference calling
Free conferencing is different from traditional conference calling where the organizer of the conference call pays either a flat rate fee or per minute charge or a mixture of both. It has no organizer fees and allows for multiple people to meet for the price of their long distance connections. Companies that provide free conference call services are usually compensated through traffic pumping arrangements, and consequently are subject to call blocking by some carriers. Calls to these seemingly free conference services and other reverse billing rate centers can be 20 times more expensive than a ‘normal’ call. In the United Kingdom the prefix 0870 system is used by UK-based free conference calling providers in order to receive a rebate from every call from telephone company that owns the number. However in April 2009 Ofcom, the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries, announced that the rebate that is payable to the telecom's supplier when an 0870 number is used would be removed. Removing the income stream for free conference call providers these providers had to find other ways to generate income in order to stay in business.