Conference call bridges allow you to create virtual meeting rooms for your teams. The technology has been in use worldwide for many years. In the post-pandemic era, with travel restrictions in place and employees working remotely, virtual meetings have become a critical part of the business communication toolbox.
What is a conference call bridge and how does it work? Read on to find out more about this technology, its benefits, and its relevance for your business.
A conference bridge is a hardware or software that allows the creation of virtual meeting rooms. Team members from different physical locations can call-in to participate in a conference call. Popular conference call bridges allow users to connect using their mobile phones and do not require any specific hardware equipment. However, this was not always the case.
In the 1970s, users could only make conference calls by physically bridging different copper lines into a single bridge. Unfortunately, this system was difficult to scale beyond 3 participants and greatly degraded the call quality.
The next decade saw ‘conference calling’ being offered as a feature by the telephone companies. While the 1980s saw a substantial improvement in the quality of a conference calls, the number of participants was still limited to 4.
In the 1990s some manufacturers started issuing ‘conference bridge cards’. These were expensive and the installation was complicated.
It was not until the introduction of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology that conference bridges became affordable and gained widespread usage. VoIP technology supported built-in conference call bridge capability within the software. This solved most of the problems related to affordability and scalability as enterprises could use their existing hardware and the virtual conferences could include up to 15 people with high-quality audio.
Most businesses today use VoIP systems with conference bridges. The service is usually outsourced to a third-party provider that maintains the hardware and software. The business only has to connect to the service provider over the Internet or a MPLS connection.
Large enterprises have people working in different time zones. Therefore, it is not possible for everyone to be physically present on the office premises at the time of a call. Conference call bridges are an excellent way to ensure that relevant parties can take part in the call at the same time without having to travel large distances.
Conference call bridges are time-saving options as you can communicate with a number of people at the same time. As a host, you do not have to call each and every individual. You can create separate conference bridges for different purposes or for different departments.
Conference bridging using VoIP is very affordable. In fact, if your business uses VoIP for telephony then it is quite likely that the conference call bridge feature is already included with the system. Moreover, only the host is required to have a VoIP conference bridge facility. Participants can be invited to join even if they do not subscribe to a VoIP conference call facility.
You do not require special training or technical skills to use conference call bridges. The process is fairly simple and user-friendly. All you have to do is inform the participants prior to the proposed call and then wait for them to join in. This also reduces last-minute confusion as all users have already been given the required details.
Working from home has become the new norm in the corporate world. And technologies like conferencing call bridges are responsible for making it possible for a business to function even when their employees cannot be on premise. Conferences bridges allow you to hold virtual meetings without any restrictions on the participants’ physical location.
All that you need to participate in a conference call bridge today is an Internet connection and a phone. With billions of people worldwide using smartphones, connecting to a conference bridge has never been more convenient.
Business conference calls can be encrypted to ensure that your corporate data and information are secure. They can also be secured with passwords and PINs.
Depending upon whether you are a host or a participant, you can have access to several in-call controls such as
The best way to check if your phone supports a conference call facility is by checking with your service provider. Most VoIP systems come with built-in conference call bridge functionality.
Conference call bridges are a tried and trusted solution for virtual meetings. Physical movement has been severely restricted in the current global climate. Conference call bridges allow teams to collaborate and have become a necessity for business productivity.
To learn more about which type of conference call bridge can be suitable for your business requirements, contact us at www.carrierbid.com. Our experts will help you assess your business communication needs and suggest an appropriate solution. You can also fill your details in the web form, and we will get in touch with you for an initial consultation completely free of charge.