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#80882 by marcaronson408
Sat May 07, 2011 3:33 pm
I have both an OBI100 and OOMA. Some postings on this thread have accurate information and some appear to be based on a mis-understanding. Here is what I see:

    1. OBI100 paired with Google Voice provides more flexibility than OOMA premiere does. Specifics include unlimited multi-rind options; call screening option; option to transcribe all email's without paying any additional fees.

    2. OOMA's advantage include E911 service and a much easier process for porting your existing land line number.

    3. Voice quality for me is comparable -- both provide very good voice quality, with very occasional issues like brief echoes.

    4. At this time GV is free and OOMA Premiere costs a modest $13.50/month, tax included. Google has committed that GV will be free through the end of 2011. After that no one knows which will be less expensive.

    5. OBI100 hardware is $50 -- much less expensive than OOMA hardware.

    6. Someone earlier suggested that OBI requires a "partner" in the other country if you want to make international calls. This is not the case if you are using OBI + GV -- GV offers competitive international rates, as does OOMA.


Both are good services and over the long run, I'm not sure that the pricing will be that much different. I continue to use both services. OOMA does have 1 key advantage over GV: OOMA does not reserve the right to listen to your phone calls. GV does reserve the right to have a system automatically transcribe your conversations so they can parse for keywords and target ads. The ads are not delivered on the phone call. Each individual needs to decide if this is acceptable to them or not.
#80888 by lbmofo
Sat May 07, 2011 7:26 pm
marcaronson408 wrote:Google has committed that GV will be free through the end of 2011.

Thought the 2011 is for free calling in Gmail and not general GV. http://googlevoiceblog.blogspot.com/201 ... rough.html

marcaronson408 wrote:Someone earlier suggested that OBI requires a "partner" in the other country if you want to make international calls. This is not the case if you are using OBI + GV -- GV offers competitive international rates, as does OOMA.

Are you talking about what I said? If you and your OBI are overseas and you want to call any US number, wouldn't you need a partner like the video says?
How do you use OB and leverage GV? Does OBI let you call non OBI users? Does OBI let you call your GV number?

lbmofo wrote:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ht6fcoJM5io

I just don't get the point of this product. If you are overseas, to call someone in the US, you need a partner in crime already pre-situated (someone else in the US with the device) to get to others via their landline (LD charges apply) or VoIP. For others to reach you, they need to call your partner in crime first and then call out via the device to your device.

What?

Just get an Ooma and take it with you overseas and call anyone in the US anytime without even thinking about it. My brain started hurting after reading that page...that video didn't really help things.
#80890 by marcaronson408
Sat May 07, 2011 9:24 pm
lbmofo wrote:
marcaronson408 wrote:Google has committed that GV will be free through the end of 2011.

Thought the 2011 is for free calling in Gmail and not general GV. http://googlevoiceblog.blogspot.com/201 ... rough.html


I made 3 hours of phone calls from my cordless phone via an OBI100 on Friday and was not charged anything for the calls. The calls were made to area codes in the US that are not toll free and I do not have any credit in my account, so I am certain there was no charge. I don't see anything in the link you referenced that suggests there should be a cost, but perhaps I missed something.

lbmofo wrote:
marcaronson408 wrote:Someone earlier suggested that OBI requires a "partner" in the other country if you want to make international calls. This is not the case if you are using OBI + GV -- GV offers competitive international rates, as does OOMA.

Are you talking about what I said? If you and your OBI are overseas and you want to call any US number, wouldn't you need a partner like the video says?
How do you use OB and leverage GV? Does OBI let you call non OBI users? Does OBI let you call your GV number?


I think I understand the confusion. The video you referenced is relevant if you are using the OBI without GV. In that situation you do need to have an OBI on both ends. If you configure your OBI to use GV as your service provider, you can dial anyone in the US or Canada at no charge, just like you do with OOMA. The person you are calling does not need to have an OBI box or subscribe to GV. I do not know what happens if you dial a US number while located overseas, but I suspect the charging behavior is similar to SKYPE's.

Instruction for configuring the OBI to use GV as your service provider are available here.

Another interesting article can be found here.

Bottom line: OBI + GV = free domestic calling and reasonable international rates.

Finally, just in case anyone is wondering, I do plan to retain my OOMA service for many reasons that I have already outline din my original post...

Marc
#80902 by lbmofo
Sun May 08, 2011 11:02 am
marcaronson408 wrote:I made 3 hours of phone calls from my cordless phone via an OBI100 on Friday and was not charged anything for the calls. The calls were made to area codes in the US that are not toll free and I do not have any credit in my account, so I am certain there was no charge. I don't see anything in the link you referenced that suggests there should be a cost, but perhaps I missed something.

I thought the timeline to end "free" was applicable to free calling within Gmail only; therefore, I thought there was no timeline to end "free" for general GV.
#80906 by tomcat
Sun May 08, 2011 11:23 am
lbmofo wrote:I thought the timeline to end "free" was applicable to free calling within Gmail only; therefore, I thought there was no timeline to end "free" for general GV.

That is my understanding, too. Though I don't understand why Google would make GV free but yet charge for it (at any time) if it is used through GMail. Doesn't make sense to me. :?
#80919 by marcaronson408
Sun May 08, 2011 4:11 pm
tomcat wrote:
lbmofo wrote:I thought the timeline to end "free" was applicable to free calling within Gmail only; therefore, I thought there was no timeline to end "free" for general GV.

That is my understanding, too. Though I don't understand why Google would make GV free but yet charge for it (at any time) if it is used through GMail. Doesn't make sense to me. :?


I believe you are reading more into the gmail reference than was intended. My guess is that at the time this article was published gmail was the best known mechanism for accessing GV and that is the reason for the explicit reference to gmail. This other article explicitly states that it is free to call any number in the US and Canada with GV. In reality GV calls can be initiated in multiple ways:

  • Native iPhone/iPad/iTouch app.
  • Native Android app.
  • Small widget on the chrome browser.
  • Dialing your own GV number and then re-dialing from there.
  • For some period of time it was possible to initiate GV calls via their SIP interface. This method has subsequently been disabled by google.
  • A GV call can be initiated from a "plain old" telephone with the use of the OBI100 or OBI110.
GV calling to US or Canadian numbers is free no matter which call initiation method you use.

As to what happens in 2012 -- no one knows for sure. Might remain free; might start charging; might shut it down. Given that they now allow people to port their cell phone numbers to GV, I doubt they will shut it down, but I think it's fair to say that only Google knows for sure what they will do. Anything else is conjecture.

Hope this clears up the confusion.

Marc
#81750 by paladin252
Fri May 20, 2011 8:02 am
i have both ooma and obi. i have my ooma hooked up using the basic service, and my obi is hooked up as a second line for me in case my wife is on the ooma line. ive had good luck with sound quality, sounds just like a standard landline phone. i must say the obi has no delay and the ooma has a fair amount, but the obi gets weird little computer noises every now and again where the ooma is crystal clear all the time.
#82747 by shellz
Sun Jun 05, 2011 10:52 am
Obi 110 calls are made thru Google. As such International rates are more competitive than Ooma as I don't have to pay monthly for 1000 minutes to countries I don't call in order to avail bulk minute discount. I also get Canada for free. I have Obi as a second line only because I had my number ported to Ooma. It is recommended to create a google account for Obi and that is what I have done. The android application does have some bugs as of now. Bu Obi 110 is fantastic. The call quality is excellent and occasionally there is delay just as with Ooma. Overall it is great.

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