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Ooma: Horrible Name, Good Idea

July 18, 2007

The latest in telecom news (although not quite wireless news) is the Silicon Valley startup called Ooma. It’s goal? To revolutionize domestic calling by offering free* and unlimited phone calls.

Ooma: free unlimited calling with some fine print.

Ooma: free, unlimited domestic calling with some fine print.

The fine print: you need to purchase the VoIP box, which costs $399. If you’re looking to purchase extensions for other rooms in the house, it’ll cost you $39 bucks each.

However, once that initial setup is paid for, you won’t be paying for domestic calling ever again, at least according to the company.

Ooma Inc. plans to make money off the boxes and fees for international calling.

The technology behind the boxes and the company is actually quite interesting: since it’s VoIP, calls are made through your internet connection. However, Ooma will also use your landline, if you have one, to connect other customers in your local calling area. This won’t affect you if someone else is using your line – in fact, you’ll be able to place multiple calls on the same line. In the future, the company plans to allow calls to mobile phones.

The service is officially launching this Thursday, but only to “invitiation-only” customers. Wonder why?


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