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Audio conferencing, in its basic sense, is a telephone call in which three or more persons located in two or more places converse together. Speaker phones and related accessories are often used to extend the reach and participation of an audio conference. Video conferencing services and solutions often receive more attention from the media, but they require more expensive equipment and higher bandwidths than the traditional business conference call. Nevertheless, high speed Internet access and digital video equipment are now widely available in most areas, and commercial grade conferencing solutions often include both audio and video capabilities. This AT&T corporate web page provides a good overview of audio conferencing and describes its features and benefits.
Audio and video conferencing, taken together, are innovative technologies that have altered the way that organizations conduct business. Audio conferences and video conferences can often replace time-consuming and expensive travel. Instead of spending time making reservations and waiting to board planes in airports, employees need only pick up their phones to communicate easily and cost-effectively with groups of people, wherever they are located. In a world where businesses continue to downsize and decentralize, audio conferencing techniques have become more and more important. And as telecommuting becomes more popular, with more and more people working out of their homes instead of at the office, audio conferencing has become indispensable. Companies are finding that conferencing technologies enable them to employ fewer, geographically dispersed people without diminishing overall productivity.
Audio conferencing can also be accomplished via the Internet, using Voice over IP (VoIP) connections. VoIP phone service typically allows unlimited phone calls (and hence conference calls) within the United States for a fixed monthly fee. Here on this website, you will find a directory of audio conferencing solution providers. Many of these firms offer sophisticated video conferencing products and services as well.
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