Skype conference call requirements

Starting a Skype group call, or a conference call as many call it, is pretty easy and straightforward, but you need to check a few things first. The requirements for a good conference call vary depending on whether you are conducting a voice call or a video conference. Voice conference calls require fewer things, which are:

  • A Skype account. Your free account is enough for conference calls with up to 25 participants.
  • Skype software on your computer or mobile device. Make sure it is the latest version available. Check with the skype site and update, it’s pretty quick and easy.
  • People in your contact list who are willing to participate in a conference call. You need to have their Skype numbers or names. See who can join a Skype call. Please note that you will need some Skype Credit if anyone in the group is not a Skype user or cannot use Skype during the call, in which case the call to landline or mobile is charged.
  • A decent internet connection. A DSL line is enough to get clear call quality. But the other participants need to have the same, since a poor connection can affect the voice quality of the call.
  • Audio input and output devices. Headphones are ideal, but speakers and a microphone are sufficient. Each of the participants can test their audio using the Skype Call Test feature.

Video conferences are more demanding

  • A Skype account. Your free account only allows 4 people on a video call. For up to 10 people, you must upgrade to the Skype paid plan.
  • Skype software on your computer or mobile device. Make sure your software is capable of making video calls, as some mobile phone versions have few features.
  • Your friends, who are other Skype users. They have to be online and have a good internet connection. They also need to have decent video hardware and have it activated.
  • A good internet connection. Good video quality depends a lot on the connection. Here, consider a minimum of 512 kbps per user. For crystal clear HD video quality, consider 1 Mbps per user. Everyone needs to have a good internet connection with enough bandwidth to get good quality. Keep this in mind if you’re holding meetings through devices that connect through a data plan where you pay for every MB used. This is not a good idea. Keep in mind that among the VoIP services, Skype is the one that consumes the most data during calls, especially video calls, since it offers HD quality.
  • Powerful processor and enough RAM to process the graphics.
  • A good webcam. To get high definition, you and the other participants should consider purchasing a Skype HD webcam.
  • Audio input and output devices.

Skype conference calls are free as long as there are no more than 25 participants for voice calls and 4 for video calls.