Ooma, the new startup on the block, is launching today with 1500 users. Ooma is a free VOIP service that allows its users to call anywhere in the US for free. Each of those 1500 users has 3 “tokens” he/she can give to friends or family members so that they can also get the service for free. That is the only way to get the service until it is opened up in the Fall. When that time comes anyone with $400 can plunk it down and get themselves this wonderful device:
This is the VOIP box that will allow you to make calls over the Ooma network. Ooma uses peer to peer internet technologies and that is why Ooma is able to give you the free service, its the low cost of overhead.
To connect the box all you do is connect Ethernet from your broadband internet connection in one end and in the other you connect your regular telephone.
Unlike Vonage you will be able to connect multiple telephones to the same number like you would with a regular landline phone, all you do is buy “Scout” devices to connect in other rooms of your house.
Ooma will always be free but they do plan on having for-pay features in the future such as ringtones, allowing you to customize what the ringer sounds like on your device.
Ooma is pretty well funded from the $27 million that they have gotten over two rounds of funding.
Ooma sounds like something I would definitely use. I currently don’t have a landline, only a cell phone but I kind of miss not having to really worry about what happens to the $30 phone I bought at Walmart, instead I have to be ever so careful with the iPhone that I have. I just want to say one more thing about using a Cell phone as your only phone, I really miss holding a phone against my head with my shoulder, I really do.