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 newsletter!

Or
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

Essentials

Mobile

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?