Conference Calling Without Hold

I am probably one of the few people on the planet who uses ordinary conference calling quite a lot. When in a call with someone it is sometimes helpful to add a third person to the conversation. This is done by putting the other party on hold while the call is established to the third person. Once the third person picks up you have to explain that you have someone on the other line and would like to make a conference that person in. In most cases that explanation takes many additional seconds during which the other side is still on hold. In other words, this solution is far from ideal in practice.

From a usability point of view it would be much better if the conference call is already established while the third party is called. The person on the other side could hear what is going on, you can talk to the person while it is ringing and the connection between all parties would be instantaneous once the third party accepts the call. No long explanation, just a quick note that XYZ is also on the line which many people are used to that get calls from people in a meeting room.

Unfortunately that’s not how conference calls are implemented in legacy circuit switched and (even) in IMS telephony today. And I have no illusions, I don’t think we’ll ever see this implemented there. But perhaps, who knows, it will happen in telephony and conference calling systems that are still evolving. Would be nice.

4 thoughts on “Conference Calling Without Hold”

  1. Don’t know if I would support a feature that adds somebody to a telco without asking first.
    Usually you put your current partner on hold and call the other guy but tell him you are going to add him to a talk/conference with one or more people. Some might say no, don’t add me.
    If you get a call from somebody, you would expect the one on the call that called you, not half the world.
    That’s why I believe the current default implementation is the better variant.

    On the other hand it’s not a big issue for an appserver/mediaserver admin to change the behaviour in the way you described in IMS networks.

  2. The sooner the standards get rid of conference calling the better! CS might be o.k. where everything is under the control of the MSS, but I’ve had nothing but interworking issues in mVoLTE – either the handset has issues, other applications, or 2G/3G / CS interworking screws things up.

    I’m all for everyone using a 3rd party conferencing service 🙂

    But as a user I do actually like the supplementary service option!

  3. I am somehow on the same page as “dt64”. If i get called and pick up i expect to talk to one person on the other side not to a “not known” bunch of persons.

    An other bothering thing is that on the most prepaid or discounter subscriptions conference calls are not allowed. I can’t really understand that. This kind of restrictions make me use Skype or Whatsapp Call conferences and so there is instead of a voice call data transfer and (unfortunatelly) an other involved party 🙁

    So same procedure as for RCS. If there is no good, affordable and easy to use standard on provider side, the business changes (partly) to other solution providers.

    1. Hi Andreas, you have a good point about the expectation of the 3rd party when he accepts the call to only talk to one person and not several. Could be rather awkward at times 🙂 So yes, the idea has its downsides, too.

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