Skype offers more free conferencing

Skype is extending its offer of free services to include audio conferences for up to 500 parties as a way to lure more businesses into Skype use.

In conjunction with conferencing service provider Vapps, Skype is enabling conferencing that can include other Skype users but also people connecting over the public phone network.

According to Vapps, the host of the conference sends each participant an e-mail that includes an Internet link to a bridge for that call and information about when the call starts. For those who don't have Skype, the e-mail includes a phone number to dial in to.

Vapps uses its network-based bridging gear to connect all the parties. The conference is not peer-to-peer.

This Vapps conferencing is in addition to earlier peer-to-peer Skype capabilities to conference up to five parties, all of whom must be using Skype.

Last month, Skype introduced another free service that lets North American Skype users make phone calls to phones on the North American public phone network. This offer is good until the end of the year, and is intended to be a way to attract more people to Skype services. According to Vapps, there is no time limit set on how long the conferencing service will be free.

Vapps says it partnered with Skype in hopes people who used the free service would pay for related services such as recording the conferences, playing them back and operator support of the calls. The company also makes money on calls into the bridge from the public phone network via a mechanism similar to 900 numbers.

This offer will put pressure on other VOIP providers that charge for conferencing services to either offer free basic conferencing themselves or to lower their prices. They might also bundle basic services with enhancements at a cut rate.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tim Greene

Network World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?