A conference room allows a group of people to participate in phone call. The most common form of bridge allows participants dial into a virtual meeting room from their own phone. Meeting rooms can hold dozens or even hundreds of participants. This contrasts with three-way calling, a standard feature of most phone systems which only allows a total of three participants. For most phone systems, conference bridging is an add-on feature that costs thousands of dollars.
- Extension*, number to dial to reach this service. This is a number that internal endpoints can dial to reach this conference. Like the ring groups, this can be thought of as the extension number of the conference.
- Description*, short description for identify this conference.
- Max Members, this option limits the number of participants for a single conference to a specific number. After the limit is reached, the conference will be locked until someone leaves. Note however that an Admin user will always be allowed to join the conference regardless if this limit is reached or not.
- Video Mode, Options:
- None: No video sources are set by default in the conference. It is still possible for a user to be set as a video source via AMI or DTMF action at any time.
- Follow Talker: The video feed will follow whoever is talking and providing video.
- Admin: The first administrator who joins the conference with video capability is the only source of video distribution to all participants. If the administrator leaves, the next administrator to join after them becomes the source.
- User PIN*, this is a numeric passcode that is used to enter the conference room. If a PIN is entered in this field, no one is able to join the conference room without entering the PIN.
- Admin PIN, functions in the same way as the User PIN. The Admin PIN and User PIN should not be set to the same value. The Admin PIN is used in conjunction with the Wait Admin option explained further in this chapter, in order to identify the administrator or leader of the conference.
- Language, here you can set the language used for voice prompts to the conference.
- Record Conference, when set to yes, records the conference call starting when the first user enters the room, and ending when the last user exits the room.
Conference Settings section
- Music on Hold, the music on hold class to use for this conference.
- Announce User Count, used for announcing the participant count to all members of the conference. If set to a number, then the announcement is only played when the number of participants is above the set number. Available options are yes, no, or a whole number. Default is no.
- Music on Hold When Empty, when this option is enabled on-hold music will be played if there is only one caller in the conference room or if the conference has not started yet (because the leader has not arrived). If this option is disabled, no sound will be played during these situations.
- User Count, when this option is enabled, the number of users currently in the conference room will be announced to each caller before they are bridged into the conference.
- Announce Join/Leave, when enabled, this option will prompt the user for a name when entering the conference. After the name is recorded, it will be played when the user enters or exits the conference.
- Announce Only User, sets if the only user announcement should be played when a user enters an empty conference.
- Wait for Leader, if this option is enabled, the conference will not begin until the conference administrator joins the conference room. The administrator is identified by the Admin PIN. If other callers join the conference room before the leader does, they will hear on-hold music or silence until the conference begins (what they hear depends on the MoH When Empty setting explained earlier in this section). If this option is set to “No”, the callers will be bridged into the conference as soon as they call the conference room number.
- Start Muted, when this option is enabled, all users joining the conference are initially muted.
- Drop Silence, this option drops what Asterisk detects as silence from entering into the bridge. Enabling this option will drastically improve performance and help remove the buildup of background noise from the conference. Highly recommended for large conferences due to its performance enhancements.
- Quiet, when this option is enabled, user introductions, enter prompts, and exit prompts are not played. There are some prompts, such as the prompt to enter a PIN number that will still be played regardless of how this option is set.
- Kick Users, enabling this option will kick out all remaining users of the conference, after the last admin user leaves the conference.
- Talk Detection, this option sets whether or not notifications of when a user begins and ends talking should be sent out as events over AMI.
- Allow to Invite, if enabled, all the participants could press “**” or “0” to invite other people to this conference.
The following codes can be entered by all conference participants:
- *1 – toggles mute for the user. When enabled, anything the user says is not transmitted to the rest of conference members. If the conference is being recorded, anything said by a muted user is not part of the recording.
- *4 – decreases receive volume. The user can tap this option to decrease the volume of what they are hearing. This does not affect what any other conference member hears. If a user is finding other conference members too loud, they can press *4 a few times to make the conference quieter for themselves.
- *5 – increases receive volume. The user can tap this option to increase the volume of what they are hearing. This does not affect what any other conference member hears. If a user is having trouble hearing other members of the conference, they can press *5 a few times to make the conference louder for themselves.
- *6 – decreases transmit volume. The user can tap this option to decrease the volume of what they are transmitting to the rest of the conference members. When this option is used, the user will sound quieter to all other conference members. If a user is much louder than the other members of a conference room, they can tap *6 few times to make their transmit volume quieter.
- *7 – increases transmit volume. The user can tap this option to increase the volume of what they are transmitting to the rest of the conference members. When this option is used, the user will sound louder to all other conference members. If the conference members are having trouble hearing a particular user, that user can tap *7 a few times to make their transmit volume louder.
- *8 – user can tap this code to leave the conference.
- In addition, the admin has access to additional codes:
- *2 – toggles the conference lock. When a conference is locked, no more callers may join. A locked conference must be unlocked for any new users to join. This option is only available to a conference administrator. If the conference does not have an admin PIN configured or the user has joined the conference as a user instead of an admin, this option is not available.
- *3 – Kicks the last user who joined the conference from the conference room. The user will hear a message informing them that they have been kicked from the conference and that their call will be terminated. Note that if a conference is unlocked, the user may rejoin. The best way to remove an abusive conference user is to eject them and then immediately lock the conference. This option is only available to a conference administrator. If the conference does not have an admin PIN configured, or the user has joined the conference as a user.