Ooma strives to be the best among consumer VOIP providers

How would you like to buy a small Voice-over-IP box and never have to pay for phone service ever? That’s the business model of Ooma. The Ooma Telo is a sleek box about the size of a common router that, once connected to the broadband service, enables VOIP with your existing telephone gear. Ooma also sells its own handset with matching sleek design and added features such as One-Touch Voicemail, Caller ID, Online Phonebook, etc., and if you subscribe to its Premier package then there are even more cool features such as Instant Second Line, Three-way Conferencing, Multi-Ring, Google Voice Extensions, and Bluetooth.

Technically, Ooma has invested in engineering the hardware to be as easy to set up as possible. Customers will find the plug-and-play setup process a breeze, without the need of confusing configuration steps. But more impressively, Ooma incorporated a redundancy technology so that when voice quality starts to degrade, it’ll push out redundant voice packets to make up for the loss. The end result is clear, uninterrupted HD conversations at all times. The company isn’t shy about it either — at the CES booth there’s a Vonage box side by side to be compared against Ooma in a network degradation test scenario. The difference was very apparent.

For the customers always on-the-go and looking for more mobility, Ooma has released iPhone and Android apps for a price. The app will allow you to receive and make Ooma calls on your mobile phone.

What about the competition from consumer VOIP pioneer, Skype, and the rise of video calling? Ooma believes its business model is much more consumer-friendly than that of Skype’s. Ooma customers buy once and use its service for free for a lifetime. In the case of Skype, the customer has to pay periodically to continue using it. Also, Ooma completely focuses on only providing the best residential VOIP service and isn’t concerned about video.

Do you have a home VOIP service? Which is your preferred provider?

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