There are several ways for creating conference calls on the University Telephone System;
When making a conference call, either joining calls or using the Audio Conference Service, you may wish to use a Cisco Conference Station for improved speaker phone quality.
The Telecoms Office are now supporting Cisco Video Conference Units on the University telephone system. Supported devices range from desktop video phones, suitable for person to person video calls, upto all-in-one room based units.
University Information Service also provide a Video Conferencing Service for staff and students of the University. There are two professional studios available for this service, one in the city centre and one on the West Cambridge Site, as well as portable equipment for use on your own premises.
Instructions: How to join calls using your Cisco handset
It is possible to use your Cisco handset or conference station to make outgoing conference calls to up to 6 numbers (subject to the call access level set on your extension).
Instructions: How to use the Audio Conference Service
The audio conference service provides a multi-party dial-in conference service, similar in nature to BT Meet-Me.
The conference service provides two types of audio conferences: On-Demand and Pre-Booked. Both types of conference have a limit to the number of callers in the conference. There is also a limit on the total amount of calls the conference system can handle.
Both conference types can be recorded.
The cost for the conference service is £5 per month (plus VAT where applicable) per institution, regardless of the number of conferences booked or the number of participants.
Unlike commercial conference services, there is no high-charge phone number for conference participants, just a regular University phone number. This means that for users on the University phone system, calls into the conference service are free. For people outside the University, calls are just a regular UK phone call.
There is no per conference or per participant fee.
Once an institution has been enabled to use the service, the local Telephone Liaison Officers are able to grant access to the service for others to book and manage their own conferences.
The management and booking of conferences is done via My.Phone. Here, users can book conferences, review the call logs for conferences and download recordings of conferences (if enabled).
We've had several enquiries asking why are we not offering an 0800 dial-in number to the conference service. The reason is that calls to 0800 numbers are only free from UK landlines. International callers & callers from mobile phones pay as much (sometimes more!) for a call to an 0800 number than to a normal UK landline number. It is also impossible for us to allocate the call charges for the callers to the correct conference.
Many people are tempted by companies that claim to offer a free conference service. Although there may be no up-front costs for using the service, the operators make their money back by higher call rates for using the service. e.g. Powwownow are a popular choice, but they charge 4.3p per minute from a UK landline and 12.5p per minute from a UK mobile.
The Cisco Conference Station 8831 wideband speakerphone is a full-featured, hands-free conference station designed for use on desktops, in conference rooms, and in executive suites. Although you can use phones that support hands free use (e.g. 794x & 796x) they are not suited for when you have more than one person in the room. We recommend using a dedicated conference phone (e.g. a Cisco 8831)
A Cisco 7937 conference phone is available for hire from the Telecommunications Office, please contact the Telecoms Helpdesk for further details.