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#86091 by Cyberchat
Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:24 pm
This a long post, so please bear with me.

There have been several forum discussions about using OOMA with two telephone lines but with regular (non-OOMA) telephone handsets. I haven't found any good answers in these forums about how to utilize two lines efficiently such as putting a first line call on hold while "flashing" to the second line to answer an incoming call. At this point, ideally I'd like to manage the two calls by being able to switch (flash) back and forth between the two calls which can be done with many Telco phone services. Also, I'd like to be able to conference the two calls together or have another person pick up either the first or second call on another handset and thus have two simultaneous calls in progress.

I've found a workable solution for my family.

Some background info: I used the OOMA Telo product to consolidate two telephone numbers into one service plan by porting both numbers to OOMA. I reduced my monthly costs from about $80.00 to about $10.00 (using OOMA's Premier plan) for a monthly savings of about $70.00. So, my payback for the purchase of the OOMA Telo and companion OOMA Handset was less than five months.

My regular (non-OOMA) telephone handsets were an AT&T two-line answering system with a base phone and several wireless remotes. The two-lines could be managed on each phone, base and remotes. With the OOMA system using a single Telo device there apparently isn't any way to split and route calls to the two telephone numbers to the separate lines supported by the two-line AT&T system. If someone knows about a way to do this, I'd sure like to hear it?

Recently, I had to replace my previous AT&T system because the keypad tone generator on the base station simply wore out after years of use. I replaced it with an "AT&T TL86109 DECT 6.0 2-line Bluetooth Cord/Cordless Phone System". The new AT&T answering system performs all of the functions of the previous system plus the addition of DECT 6.0, Bluetooth functionality and more. (I stuck with a two-line system to provide an option to add a second OOMA Telo system later).

I use the Bluetooth functionality to connect my cell phone system to the AT&T system while at home. The cell phone system stays on its charger while at home. This allows both incoming and outgoing calls to be connected via my cell phone service through the AT&T system's base station and remotes. So, the AT&T base station and each remote has three line buttons, Line-1, Line-2 and Cellular. Line-2 is currently inactive because there is no phone service connected to it.

Now to using multiple lines with OOMA: I normally have the OOMA preferences set to forward all calls for both telephone numbers to my cell phone using the "multi-ring" feature. This means that all calls ring on both the AT&T handsets and on my cell phone when I'm home. When I'm away from home, I still receive all calls on my cell phone.

Due to the functionality of the new AT&T Phone sytem, If I'm on a call using my first OOMA telephone number and a second call comes in, because of the multi-ring preference setting it rings on the OOMA devices (Telo device and OOMA handset) and also on my cell phone. Using the functionality on the AT&T handsets (base and remotes) I can easily place one call on hold, switch to the second call via my cell phone service, then switch back and forth between calls or conference the two calls together. In this scenario, one call is connected through the OOMA service and the second call is connected through my cell phone service.

So, its not a technical duplication of the telco capabiity to "flash" between two calls but its functionally equivalent. I hope this scenario is useful to other OOMA Users.
#86093 by Cyberchat
Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:45 pm
lbmofo wrote:Very nice. The ability to conference cell and home is great. Also, if no conferencing, you can have both lines going at the same time.


Yes, being able to have two simultaneous calls going without having to use the OOMA handset is very useful. By the way, you don't have to have a two-line phone to make this work. The key features are the Bluetooth integration and the functionality within the AT&T phone system to manage the calls.
#86097 by lbmofo
Thu Aug 18, 2011 7:04 pm
Cyberchat wrote:By the way, you don't have to have a two-line phone to make this work. The key features are the Bluetooth integration and the functionality within the AT&T phone system to manage the calls.

Yes. Folks here can peruse through some models (manuals online) to take a closer look at this feature.
http://telephones.att.com/att/index.cfm ... s/dect-60/

For example, the simpler TL92370 can do "Conference CELLULAR and HOME Line Calls"
http://telephones.att.com/att/index.cfm ... uctID=1404
#86111 by garlovel
Fri Aug 19, 2011 5:20 am
I do not see how the Ooma Telo can connect 2-line POTS phones and provide two simultaneous calls. Additional technology, such as the blue-tooth integration, is required on the phones. But here is a different Ooma approach:

Originally Ooma sold the (now deprecated) Hub-Scout combo, which is what I have. By daisy-chaining a hub and a scout, and crossing the primary-pair output of the scout to the secondary pair of a phone wire, my Ooma produces two output lines for connection to standard home phone wiring, and works with dumb POTS two-line phones. Right now I have two Ooma hubs and three scouts, and I use this combination to handle FAX on one hub along with two lines on two scouts, and an additional two lines on the other hub-scout pair. I use POTS 4-line phones for the station equipment. The result is a (mostly) working 4-line VOIP system without a monthly bill.
#86135 by Cyberchat
Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:48 am
garlovel wrote:I do not see how the Ooma Telo can connect 2-line POTS phones and provide two simultaneous calls. Additional technology, such as the blue-tooth integration, is required on the phones. But here is a different Ooma approach:

Originally Ooma sold the (now deprecated) Hub-Scout combo, which is what I have. By daisy-chaining a hub and a scout, and crossing the primary-pair output of the scout to the secondary pair of a phone wire, my Ooma produces two output lines for connection to standard home phone wiring, and works with dumb POTS two-line phones. Right now I have two Ooma hubs and three scouts, and I use this combination to handle FAX on one hub along with two lines on two scouts, and an additional two lines on the other hub-scout pair. I use POTS 4-line phones for the station equipment. The result is a (mostly) working 4-line VOIP system without a monthly bill.


I'm not familiar with the OOMA Hub and Scout products, so I don't have any comments about your approach. It sounds very innovative, however, and it sounds like its meeting your needs.

With the OOMA Telo product and its companion remote handset, OOMA can support two simultaneous telephone calls if you have subscribed to OOMA's Premiere service. One call flows through each OOMA device, the Telo and the Handset. A separate OOMA device is required for each call, but with the Telo product, a maximum of two simultaneous calls can be supported by OOMA even if you have several OOMA handsets. When using non-OOMA handsets connected to the Telo they act as an extension to the Telo and thus can support only one call for each Telo. Multiple simultaneous calls on non-OOMA handets require multiple Telo devices.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this thread, I acquired a two-line phone system to provide an option to add a second Telo device in the future should we need it. Alternatively, the AT&T two-line system would allow us to add a POTS line in the future if we developed a need to support a lot of incoming faxes. Currenlty, using OOMA for outbound faxes works well for us so we don't need the POTS line. We simply precede our outbound fax calls with *99 and it works OK with OOMA.

We also have an OOMA handset which allows us to have two simultaneous calls active through the OOMA products but we rarely use the OOMA handset. From our experience the AT&T DECT 6.0 phones serve our needs much better. For example, we have an AT&T DECT 6.0 wireless headset in our setup which allows us to rome freely in and around our residence and handsfree while on extended telephone calls.

The workaround I outlined at the beginning of this thread allows us to manage two similtaneous calls (which is a frequent need for us) on our non-OOMA handsets by bringing our cellular service into play. There are other benefits as well such as the integration of call logs, voice mail, importing of our cellular contact lists into the AT&T phones and the ability at home to manage all of our calls (OOMA and cellular) from any of the several remote handsets scattered around our living area.
#86313 by tivoboy
Tue Aug 23, 2011 8:51 am
Is there a way to use the scout (which I have never hooked up before) to enable the 2nd line, or two lines with an ooma hub and premier? how does one connect this? Just just the home line out of the hub, through home wiring to the scout and then plug another phone, separate phone into the scout?
#86315 by murphy
Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:12 am
tivoboy wrote:Is there a way to use the scout (which I have never hooked up before) to enable the 2nd line, or two lines with an ooma hub and premier? how does one connect this? Just just the home line out of the hub, through home wiring to the scout and then plug another phone, separate phone into the scout?

Connect the wall jack of the hub to the wall jack of the scout.
Connect a phone to the Phone jack of the hub.
Connect a phone to the phone jack of the scout.
If you have Premier you can make two separate phone calls with only one phone number.
That is the "instant second line".
It does not involve a second phone number, which is also possible.

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