Re: OOma? [telecom]

From: Thad Floryan

Two months ago in the ba.internet group one person wrote he recently >subscribed to Ooma's service and it was a no-brainer and the quality >is excellent and service is free with only a monthly cost of $3.91 >(in Silicon Valley) for federal and state taxes and E911 service.

How is this preferable to the ~$50 Obihai box, which for a one-time payment gives permanent pseudo-POTS service?

Reply to
Randall Webmail
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FWIW, no one has ever mentioned Obihai in a VoIP thread in the ba.internet thread before, so your question about it is the first I've heard of Obihai.

I'm curious how Obihai can avoid charging federal and state fees and the E911 service tax; if they're not charging those fees that may come and bite them.

"permanent pseudo-POTS service" is a gamble with any vendor. I've been tracking Ooma for over 7 years noting they were founded in

2004. At this point they have exceeded the normal startup belly-up time and it looks like they'll be around for the long-term given the reviews and articles I've read about Ooma and the other comments in the ba.internet group.

Obihai seems to have been founded in 2009 per their whois creation date and there's meagre info about the company and its management on their website vs. a lot of info on Ooma's website about Ooma.

I suppose one could compare product data sheets of both companies to determine which company's products better suits one's needs. I get the impression Obihai is concentrating on doing business mostly with companies noting Ooma has also recently entered that arena.

Obihai's document downloads are here to learn more about their products and service:

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and I'm getting the impression they are ATA devices requiring a contract with a VoIP provider such as Callcentric (as mentioned on Obihai's brochures) but there's something called OBiTALK for which I don't have time to peruse. Since you seem to have some interest in Obihai (customer or employee?) why don't you write a article for comp.dcom.telecom about Obihai? We really baven't had much discussion about VoIP for quite awhile and I'm getting weary reading articles from the New York Times and the WSJ. :-)

I also note Obihai is touting Google Voice interoperability but that Google service is ending May 15 which is just 10 days away.

Obihai also doesn't appear to have DECT6 capability which is yet another feature of Ooma especially its new DECT6 wearable device for instant E911 calls suitable for the elderly, invalids, and folks who live by themselves. See:

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FWIW, I'm extremely pleased with the Ooma service for my home and how well it and its features function as a true plug'n'play device which was a pleasure to setup after all the years I've spent for clients/employers setting up PBX and Asterisk-based VoIP services.

I neglected to mention previously that Ooma's service also provides a dial tone which is nice for people transitioning from landlines.

As I wrote previously, I'm happy to answer any questions about Ooma's Telo product and service for home use, I still have all my notes and books for Asterisk and can answer "some" questions about it, too, but note the last time I worked with Asterisk was in 2008.


Reply to
Thad Floryan

Since I was just on Amazon examining the D-Link DPH-50U page for Bill, I was curious if Amazon sold the Obihai box(es). They do. See the Amazon URL below and some of my comments.

Here's the Amazon page for several Obihai boxes noting there's some excellent information there along with a selector chart to choose the "best" one for one's needs, and it's a much easier and faster read than the individual product documents at the above 2 URLs:

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Note also there are a lot of reader comments which fare much better than for the D-Link VoIP box Bill asked about:

4.7 out of 5 stars 5 star 1,566 4 star 215 3 star 44 2 star 37 1 star 65 ----- 1,927 customer reviews "Sound quality is good."

One thing very clear from the Amazon page is that Obihai does NOT itself appear to provide VoIP services and one must contract for service from Obihai partners such as Anveo, Callcentric, Localphone,, and more.

In other words, the Obihai boxes are featureful ATA devices for which a VoIP provider is needed for telephony service, so one must do the homework to be assured having all the features one needs.

In contrast, Ooma has their own datacenter(s) with specialized servers providing for both the basic and Premier service tiers

Also contrast the Ooma Telo box with the Obihai box and note the Telo has indicators and touch icons on the sloped front of the box vs. no indicators I can see on the Obihai. Point being: Ooma makes it easy to note Voice Mail is waiting and to connect to it with one touch vs (I'm guessing here) one has to dial a specific number to access the voice mail facility of the provider one is using with the Obihai box.

Here's a picture of the internals of the Ooma Telo box:

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Such differences clearly account for the one-time-only purchase price differences for the basic box from Ooma and Obihai.

I'm writing the above from a quick read of the Amazon page; if I've made any erroneous assumptions or errors of fact, please correct me, but I believe I've answered Randall's original question with this and my prior posting in this thread.

If any comp.dcom.telecom subscriber is using Obihai, please report back your experience(s). Thank you!


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