Web conferencing bandwidth
For those working in low-bandwidth settings, web conferencing can be a big challenge. There are a few ways to get your group – big (over 100 attendees) and small – to get talking for a variety of budgets.
Web Gathering offers a virtual space to hold meetings or conferences. Modeled off of a real conference experience, presenters can deliver speeches using voice, video, slideshow presentations, interactive whiteboards, desktop share and document share within interactive virtual conference rooms. Pricing is considerably lower than the cost per person in a traditional conference setting, but it is much more expensive in situations where a simpler free conferencing option would be appropriate.
Other options to explore, with different pricing models: anymeeting, Big Blue Button
Improve your bandwidth
In the case of Africa, low bandwidth is a relative challenge; some countries have a very good infrastructure but it is the local Internet Service Providers that slow the connection at the Internet gateway. If all your users reside within a country, you can setup a server with the conference software installed within your ISP’s local network and that should greatly improve your results.
Openmeetings provides video conferencing, instant messaging, white board, collaborative document editing and other groupware tools using API functions of the Red5 Streaming Server for Remoting and Streaming. It is a browser-based software, so it is possible to use on some smartphones. It does use Flash so any devices using iOS will not be compatible. It currently does not have any native mobile apps.
Troubleshooting with available options
Improvise! If everyone has access to a phone and their laptop, use a free service like Freeconferencecall.com to connect the speaking portion of the conference and then share files over e-mail. Typically, it is the combination of web, voice and video in one tool that will result in dropped calls and technical issues.
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