Most mobile devices such as the iPhone allow users to make three-way or conference calls.

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Three-Way Calling from Your Mobile Device

Teenagers across the United States use three-way calling to make plans or share social news with friends. Three-way calling is conference calling at its easiest. The business world relies on conference calling for communication exchanges between colleagues and customers. In many ways, three-way calling from a mobile device resembles calling from a landline phone.

Initiating mobile three-way calling has become as simple as pressing a few buttons. Here are step-by-step instructions for initiating a three-way call from three popular mobile devices -- a BlackBerry, an iPhone and a Windows Mobile Treo smartphone.

To initiate a three-way call from your BlackBerry:

  1. On the home screen, click phone.
  2. Click the trackwheel, and select new call.
  3. Highlight a contact, click the trackwheel and select call.
  4. While the first contact is highlighted, click the trackwheel and select hold.
  5. Click the trackwheel and select new call.
  6. Select the second recipient, click the trackwheel, and select call.
  7. After you're connected to the second call, click the trackwheel and select join.
  8. To add more callers to the conference, repeat Steps 4 through 7.
  9. Terminate the conference call as you would a phone call.

[source: BlackBerry Technical Solution Center]

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Some BlackBerry models include three-way call as an option on the trackwheel. If so, click that option, click the contact and press enter twice. During the second call, click the trackwheel and then flash to bring that call into the conference. To disconnect from the second call only, click on the trackwheel and select flash.

To make a three-way call from your iPhone:

  1. Make a call.
  2. Tap add call, and make another call. The first call will be placed on hold. If you want, you can talk privately on the second line before merging the calls.
  3. Tap merge calls. The calls are merged onto one line, and everyone can hear each other.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 to add more callers to the conference. You can merge up to five calls for a phone conference.
  5. To add an incoming call to the conference, tap hold call + answer, and then tap merge calls.
  6. To talk privately to one caller during the conference, tap conference and then tap private next to a call. Tap merge calls to return the caller to the conference.
  7. To drop one caller from the conference, tap conference and then tap private next to a call. Then tap end call.

[source: Apple iPhone User Guide]

To start a three-way call from your Windows Mobile Treo Smartphone:

  1. Dial the first call, and wait for the recipient to pick up. Ask them to wait a minute and press hold.
  2. Dial the second number.
  3. The conference option will appear on screen. Select conference to join the calls together.
  4. To end the call, hit end conference to hang up the second caller but keep the first caller online. Or hit power/end to hang up both calls.

[source: Palm's Knowledge Base]

The downside to three-way calling is that you usually can only connect with five or six people, at most. In the next section, we'll look at how you can join a larger, more formal business conference call from your mobile device.