Ooma Launches VoIP Service In Canada

by Gaurav Kheterpal on November 3, 2011

Our telephony needs have changed drastically in the last decade. The landline may not be dead yet but it’s no longer the primary telephone for most of us. On one hand, the mobile phone has revolutionized the phone industry. On the other, VoIP is globally emerging as a widely accepted alternative to ‘traditional’ landlines and Canada is no exception.

Ooma, a Palo Alto based VoIP startup, is now spreading its wings to Canada. The company is offering a ‘Free Home Phone Service’ which reportedly allows Canadians to make free calls across the country.

The company’s flagship product – the Telo adapter plugs into a high-speed Internet connection and existing home phone to provide free phone calls and bundled features including voicemail, caller ID, call waiting and 911 service. In September, Skype launched two similar products that, with an attached broadband connection, allow customers in the U.S. and Canada to use the telephony service from their existing home landline. Interestingly, Skype doesn’t recommend using the home phone adapter as a substitution for the landline and Ooma claims that it will help customers cut the cord with the telephone company for good. The former does not allow emergency 911 calls. Ooma allows emergency calls but it’s paid.

“We’ve received frequent requests to bring Ooma to Canada because of the high cost of phone service and we anticipate a healthy level of interest in eliminating expensive monthly phone bills. Free home phone service, outstanding voice quality and advanced features are an unbeatable combination,” said Eric Stang, Chief Executive Officer at Ooma. “Since Ooma began offering free home phone service in the U.S. with the Ooma Telo nearly three years ago, our subscriber base has grown quickly, doubling in the last year alone.”

The company takes pride in its PureVoice HD technology – a modern audio technique that bundles 5 technologies and offers superior voice quality as compared to traditional phone lines.

Though the company advertises its offering as ‘Free Home Phone Service’, it’s not entirely free. For a start, the Ooma VoIP-in-a-box costs about $230 up front. And then there’s an additional monthly fee of $4 a month to cover 911 and regulatory fees. Users can upgrade to the Premier service for another $9.99 a month and get access to call screening, three-way conferencing and ringtone options. Customers can port their existing phone number for a one-time fee of $39.99. None the less, Ooma claims that its service can lead to a saving of up to $870 in two years. While the cost savings are impressive, Ooma suffers from the obvious downside of all VoIP services – no calls can be made if the Internet goes down or the power is out.

Ooma is offering a 30-day money-back guarantee for Canadian customers.

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Written by: Gaurav Kheterpal. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.comby:RSS,TwitterFacebook, or YouTube.

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