Thursday, July 19, 2007

Ooma Gawd...

An ambitious and long awaited new consumer VOIP startup Ooma launches this morning. Much like Vonage and the ill-fated SunRocket, Ooma allows consumers to use their normal phones to make and receive telephone calls, but at drastically reduced prices. Vonage provides unlimited calling in the U.S. and Canada for a flat $25/month. Ooma, however, is using an innovative peer-to-peer architecture to significantly reduce their cost overhead. Because of that cost reduction, they’re charging for hardware only. Calls in the U.S. are free, and will be forever. That doesn’t mean there’s no cost to the consumer, though. You still have to get your hands on the hardware, which starts at $399, and have a broadband Internet connection. That buys you a base hub. You plug broadband ethernet into one end, and a normal phone into the other, and you’re all set. A one time $400 phone bill sounds like a good deal to me, but I'll let you make the Call.

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