There are two main methods you can use for setting up a teleconference:

Using the PABX conference facility

Rhodes' internal PABX can support small ad-hoc teleconferences of up-to four participants. To set up a conference call from your PABX extension, do the following:

  • Dial the first person you wish to connect
  • Press the Conf soft key. The first caller will be put on hold and you will hear dial tone again.
  • Dial the next person you wish to connect
  • When they answer, press the Join soft key to complete the conference.

You can include both internal and external callers in a conference. When external callers are involved, the person who dials the call will be billed for it.

You can also conference in new participants during an existing call, irrespective of whether it was incoming or outgoing -- so, for example, if someone phones you and you want to include a colleague in the conversation, you just press the Conf button as above.

Using an external conference bridge

There are a number of external conference bridges available, but the most frequently used is Telkom's automated teleconferencing service. This is suitable for conferences of up-to seven participants. To use Telkom's service, do the following:

  • Before the conference, chose a unique five-digit PIN number to identify your conference "room". This must be non-sequential, and non-repetitive.
  • Share this PIN with all the conference participants (for example, via email)
  • At the time of the conference, each participant should dial 0862 000 000. Note that each participant will be billed separately for their call to this number.
  • When prompted, press 1 to proceed with a conference, and then enter the PIN number followed by a hash (e.g. 12345#).
  • As new participants enter the conference, you'll hear a short beep to alert you they are there.

Conference bridges like this are billed as regular telephone calls, so for conference calls within Rhodes it is preferable to use the internal PABX facility. In addition, you can use the PABX conference facility to extend the capabilities of the conference bridge and include further internal participants at no extra cost (one person dials the conference bridge, and then uses the PABX conference facility to bring in other internal callers).

If you need to teleconference with a larger group, Telkom support an operator-assisted conference service for up-to 24 participants. Neotel's Neo-conference facility supports up-to 480 participants, but needs to be pre-booked with them. More details are available on their respective web site.

Last Modified: Tue, 29 Oct 2013 12:52:45 SAST