[ 2012-02-24 ]
Ghanaian Develops Easy go Audio Conferencing System
A Ghanaian company called Forum Network Limited
(FNL), owned by 2008 independent presidential
candidate Kwesi Amoafo-Yeboah has developed a new
Audio Conferencing system that can easily be used
by every average Ghanaian family, social,
regilious, media and business group for meetings
and conferences without members having to be
physically present at one location.
The system is called Forum Audio Conference, and
it allows users to log on to obtain their own
conference phone number (an MTN numbers) and
access code from www.forum.com.gh.
The system allow up to 1,000 people to hold an
audio conference via their mobile phones and pay
the normal call rate, no extra charge.
It also allows people to call into church meetings
and listen to preaching live, or into conference,
press conference and participate.
Kwesi Amoafo-Yeboah told Adom News Forum Audio
Conferencing was designed to cut out the cost,
time and risk involved in people having to travel
to social and business meetings, and to enable
people to do meetings electronically and pay only
the normal phone call rate.
He noted that there is an estimated 17 million
mobile phone subscribers using more than 21
million mobile phone lines in Ghana, and that
meant the use of the mobile phone for
communication is already relatively huge in the
Mr. Amoafo-Yeboah noted that Forum runs on the
concept that business interaction is group
interaction which usually required physical
meetings, unless there is a way to hold business
meetings without physically congregating at one
He said Forum Network is therefore collaborating
with MTN, for starters, to create an electronic
GSM platform for all levels of businesses,
families, religious group, social groups and even
professional groups like journalists to hold
meetings or even participate in conferences
without being physically present.
“We feel this is a good time for this kind of
solution in Ghana because it is providing the
opportunity for business, family, religious and
social meetings to be done electronically at very
affordable rates," he said, adding that “people do
this from the comfort of their homes and offices
so they get to do other things as well.”
He said audio conferencing is making life easy for
lots of businesses and groups around the world,
adding that audio conferencing platforms like
Webbex , Go To Meeting, and
freeconferencingcall.com are owned by big IT
companies, which are generating huge revenues from
“Freeconferencingcall.com for instance is running
five billion minutes of conferencing calls per
year and that tells you this solution is relevant
to the times we are in and we see that opportunity
in Africa and we want to take advantage and help
people in Ghana better their lives,” he said.
The service is entirely voice-based and the
telecom operators have hinted this year the
industry would go much more data because voice is
gradually losing its steam, but Mr. Amoafo-Yeboah
said the notion that voice is dying and data is
taking over is completely misplaced because voice
can never die.
He asked “if voice was dying how come Microsoft
bought Skype just to be part of audio conferencing
– Google is the king of data but it has a voice
program called Google Talk – so if the big boys
are going into voice why are we running away from
“We think there is plenty of opportunity is voice
and voice can never be free because even when
telecom operators sell data bundles, the bundle
includes a package that allows people to talk and
if those people use the talk time for Forum Audio
Conference calls, we still get paid,” he said.
Samuel Menyah Asah-Kissiedu is the Product Manager
for Forum and main brain behind the system; he
told Adom News people can access the service by
registering online at www.forum.com.gh or by
sending 'forumgh, your name, your email address'
to short code 1945 and get a special MTN phone
number and access code that members of one’s group
can use to participate in audio conferences.
He said the service is not the exclusive preserve
of the elite or for corporate Ghana, but for small
trade groups like drivers groups, spare parts
dealers, market women associations, farmers
groups, fishermen associations and many more, plus
families and even professional groups and
“It is also possible for journalists who often do
not get to participate in the President’s Meet The
Press at the castle to do so if the organisers of
that conference get a Forum Network phone number
and code and give them out to journalists across
country so they can call into the press conference
and listen real time and ask questions.
Currently Legacy and Legacy is using the system
for their nationwide Springboard conferences and
some inidividuals are using it as well.
Source - Adom News
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