I'm volunteering in a team providing technical support for webinars. Usually we do this in turns, there is one person hosting the webinar and providing assistance.
He/she is sitting behind his computer monitoring the webinar sound and video (often with a headset on).
We would like participants be able to call one telephone number if they have technical difficulties.

We are looking for some software or service that can route incoming calls on that one phone number to our individual mobile (or home) phones.

We tried using a voice conference service, but that does not work because you then have to monitor both the webinar and the voice conference with one set of ears ;-)
Monitoring the webinar and then handling the occasional incoming call (phone ringing) works better. We can 'step out' of the webinar for a few minutes (listening/talking through the phone and keeping an eye on the screen).

This is for European webinars, meaning the participants are from all over Europe and have to dial an international number already (currently our private phones).

Additional requirements:

  • Windows 7 or later
  • We should be able to switch the forwarding number before each webinar (maybe even on the fly during the webinar, if a second support person becomes available), depending on who's doing the support.
    Only one personal phone must ring.
  • If we have to make an account, that's fine. We can share the login data in the support group.
  • The software or service itself should be free.
  • Minimal or no extra fees for the participants. Preferably 'no', i.e. they just pay their international rates as they do now.
  • If we have to install/start software on our local machines, that's fine, but the calls have to come in on our physical phones, not the computer.

Note: Technically speaking the call could come in to the computer and override the webinar sound, so the support person does not have to switch devices, but I doubt that will work fluently - hence my emphasis on physical phones.

4 Answers 4


You should setup something like Asterisk PBX. It is free, but might prove difficult at first. However some friendly asterisk based solutions are available such as elastix.

With a PBX, you can then connect it to a phone line .. maybe via VoIP or via a physical land line.. With such line you will be able to take/make any calls to the phone network

However you might not need a line. Maybe just softphones or hardphones, connected via VoIP to this PBX will be able to communicate between themselves

For instance: Each agent providing support will register a softphone/hardphone to this PBX A queue will be configured to ring this group of support agents A external line (VoIP or physical) will provide a number for people to dial to...


Twilio's API should be able to solve your problem. You can buy a Twilio number (in one of 20 countries), and set it up to forward to a number, and change the forwarding number using a GUI or programmatically. Twilio also has a lovely UI and API.

  • It does not meet the 'free' requirement.
    – user416
    Oct 25, 2016 at 10:27

A close match that might be worth considering would be to have a Skype Phone Number associated with the Help Desk service, (you can actually have up to 10 so potentially you could have one number for each of 10 countries making it a national call for participants in those 10 countries).

  • The currently on call person would simply log onto Skype with help desk account using either their computer or their mobile device depending on their preferences.
  • The software is available free for most devices and OS's
  • The callers would pay just the call charge
  • The help desk would pay nothing for each incoming call, (other than possibly data charges if using a mobile not on WiFi).
  • There is a fee and subscription for each phone number which varies based on the country code of the phone number and the subscription duration.
  • As only one device can be logged in to a given account only one "phone" would ring.

You can try PortSIP PBX solution, it's a PBX which offers free maximum 4 simultaneous calls. It also include the sofpthone and client SDK, means you can integrate it with your currently system.

In your case, the PBX connect to a SIP trunking or E1 gateway, then route the calls to your employees - IP Phone, landline phone, or softphone, it's easy and simple.

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