OBiTALK end of life is almost here, but Ooma is still committed to home phone service

Tim Sullivan profile image December 15, 2023 | 3 min read

Many phone providers have been abandoning home phone service, making it difficult for people who rely on it to communicate with their loved ones. Since July 2022, we’ve been sounding the alarm that OBiTALK, the residential product line of the former Obihai Technology, will reach its end of life on December 18, 2023, which is days away.

End of life for OBiTALK

OBiTALK, first released in 2014, is a gateway to access a VoIP phone service. Connecting OBiTALK equipment through the internet allows you to use Google Voice with a home phone. Since then, a lot has changed. Obihai Technology was acquired by Polycom in 2018; Polycom was acquired by Plantronics in 2018, the joined companies became Poly in 2019; and then Poly was acquired by HP in 2022. In December 2021 came an end-of-life announcement for OBiTALK, which meant that Poly stopped selling the Obi200, Obi202 and OBI212, and stated that engineering and service support would end on December 18, 2023.

What does this mean for current users of OBiTALK devices? Despite support ending in a few days, it’s still a little hazy. In the past, Obihai had said that if Google makes a change to Google Voice requiring a firmware update from Obihai, that the devices could stop working.

Chatter in the Google Voice community on claims that while OBiTALK devices that were configured to use consumer Google Voice may continue to work, customers won’t be able to add, change or delete them because OBiTALK provisioning of Google Voice through the OBiTALK portal will stop with the December 18th shutdown. So don’t purchase any OBiTALK devices from resellers.

With all this uncertainty, isn’t it better to look for an OBiTALK alternative before you go to pick up your phone and find it dead?

The solution

You deserve a home phone service that’s committed to helping you connect with your loved ones. That’s Ooma.

Ooma home phone service uses a device called Ooma Telo. While Ooma Telo is similar to OBiTALK in that they both provide an analog-to-digital switch, Ooma is a complete service. It offers not only the necessary equipment, but the VoIP service as well, so you can get a reliable home phone alternative from the same company. More importantly, you’ll get reliable E-911 service, which is something that Google does not provide with Google Voice.

Ooma Telo options

Ooma Telo ($99.99) connects to your home router through an Ethernet cable. If you’d rather have a wireless connection, Ooma Telo Air ($129.99) connects through Wi-Fi®, while Ooma Telo LTE ($179.99) connects through a cellular network.

Beyond the upfront cost, Ooma home phone service is free. You only pay applicable fees and taxes, roughly $6 to $9 a month depending on your location, making it far cheaper than a traditional landline. The perks of Ooma service include:

  • Free U.S. calls (or free calls with Canada for Canadian residents)
  • Ooma’s PureVoice HD technology (crystal-clear calls)
  • Call Waiting
  • Caller ID
  • Voicemail
  • Low-cost international calls
  • Ooma Home Phone app for outbound calling and voicemail
  • 911 and 911 alerts

Ooma Premier is an upgrade that costs just $9.99 per month (plus applicable taxes and fees). With Ooma Premier, you get a free second number, both inbound and outbound calling on the Ooma Home Phone app, more extensive voicemail options (including Do Not Disturb), Enhanced Caller ID and Enhanced Call Blocking and more options to connect to smart home devices.

In lieu of a landline phone

While it’s sad to see technology reach its end of life, the demise of OBiTALK isn’t a sign that the home phones in general are going away. In lieu of turning back to a traditional landline phone, OBiTALK residential customers should consider full-service VoIP options. Ooma eliminates the hassle and complications of combining two services together as OBiTALK did to accomplish the same goal: a VoIP residential phone. With Ooma, you’ll get home phone service from a company that’s committed to residential phone service. And you can keep your current phone number by transferring it to Ooma for a one-time cost of $39.99.

Learn more by calling or reaching out to Ooma today.