What Is Audio Conferencing?

An audio conference is simply a ‘meeting on the phone’.

Instead of meeting face to face, participants dial a phone number which connects them all together via a special piece of equipment called a teleconference bridge.

Telephone conferencing saves so much time and money in terms of reduced travel expenses and downtime that they often become the preferred meeting method in many companies.

Companies wishing to provide their staff and customers with audio conferencing facilities have a choice. They can either buy or rent their own teleconference bridge or use an external audio conferencing company. There are advantages and disadvantages to each approach.

Installing in-house conference bridges may provide a higher level of control and lower per-call charges but the equipment needed to provide a reliable high volume service still costs many tens of thousands of dollars and requires considerable skill to support.

Outsourcing is certainly simpler and requires little or no capital investment, but conferences are usually charged on a per call basis.

Nowadays, many companies offering outsource teleconferencing services can re-brand greetings and tailor functionality to give appearance of being an in-house service giving the best of both worlds. For instance, a company could choose to have the conference bridge answer using their own company name.

The final decision to purchase or rent in-house teleconference conferencing bridges or outsource the service usually boils down to cost.

If you are conducting research into audio conferencing you may find such services are referred to as ‘telephone conferencing’, ‘teleconferencing’ or ‘phone conferencing’. These terms are used interchangeably and all mean the same thing.