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With the recent growth in the popularity of Voice Over IP services or voip, many have benefited from cost efficiencies and feature benefits of using the Internet to handle phone calls. For businesses VOIP has become a mature and capable platform for voice communications.
However, at home, the situation has been less clear. Sure PC-based systems like Skype have become ubiqitous, and pretty much everyone has heard about Vonage, the largest provider of VOIP services for the home. But the home market has seen some pretty down times.
Recently Sunrocket, the second largest provider, shut its doors. And Vonage has been suffering from a long running patent fight with Verizon that could still prove fatal for the upstart VOIP provider.
But despite these setbacks there are still businesses looking to provide innovative VOIP solutions for home users. The latest to come across my radar is ooma. ooma is launching a new hardware based solution that will plug into users existing phone systems and provide unlimited calling options. And interestingly, there will be no monthly fee. ooma devices will require a single hardware purchase cost (in the $400 dollar range) and then no monthly costs after that.
I spoke to ooma CEO Andrew Frame about their new product, which is just now launching its beta program.