Canadians are tired of having to pay outrageous amounts for monthly home phone service. This is specially true when making long distance calls.
For users with existing high speed Internet service at home or in their home offices, the Ooma Telo ($202.99) available for online purchase at Future Shop, can fit right into their current set-up quite easily.
The sleek black device plugs into your Internet router on one end and then to your physical phone handset which could be wired or wireless.
Considering that your home phone provider is likely using your high speed cable or DSL data connection to provide your landline service (and charging you a hefty fee) solutions like Ooma Telo and others make complete sense.
The beauty of this type of solution is that the Ooma Telo serves as a conduit between your existing phone and the Internet. All the numbers and speed dial settings that are already on your existing phone will be available.
Ooma offers free Canadian calls with low International rates, the device also gives users voicemail, caller ID, call waiting and the elusive access to 911 service which not every VoIP provider has access to.
The best thing about Ooma's solution is that it is possible to keep your existing phone number. Ooma calls this 'porting' and anyone can check if their current landline is um, port-able using their
Here's how Ooma explains this, "number porting allows you to transfer your home phone number from your current service provider (whether VoIP or landline) to Ooma. You can port a phone number to the Ooma system for a one-time charge of $39.99 or get free porting request when you purchase a yearly subscription to Ooma Premiere."
This means that for most Canadians that have an existing Internet connection, they can ditch their home phone service, retain their number and save money while being able to make free calls within Canada and affordable international long distance calls when needed.
The service, however, is not completely free. Aside from paying for the device and a yearly subscription, the requisite taxes and fees are present.
This is no fault of Oomas' but a necessary part of operating any phone service. The regulators want to whet their beaks. "Ooma charges applicable taxes and fees so we can operate within and comply with laws and regulations mandated by the government.
Taxes and fees are split into the following categories:
- Regulatory Compliance Fee
- 911 Service Fee
- Federal Universal Service Charge (US. customers only)
- State or province and local taxes, fees and surcharges
Setting the Ooma Telo up out of the box was quick and relatively easy. Once we signed in to the online service using our special code (included in the package) we were able to make and take calls using the an Ooma issued phone number.
While it touts 'unlimited' local calls, there's actually a ceiling to the number of minutes one can make using the Ooma Telo.
"Like all other 'unlimited services' such as cell phone data plans and other VoIP services, we do have a limit of 5000 minutes per month (for outbound calling) that we can enforce on a case by case basis in the event that a subscriber is clearly abusing the service (i.e. call centers, commercial purposes, etc.). We have never terminated a customer that has used the service for residential purposes," Ooma says in their website.
5000 minutes should be just fine for most home phone users. Ooma also improves on most landlines by offering HD Voice technology actually doubles the fidelity of your phone calls by capturing twice the speech information of a standard voice call. When you and the other caller use an Ooma handset, or any HD compatible phone, your voice will sound more natural than ever.
Ooma Premiere is an added subscription service that adds an extra line, offers three way calling, waives the $39.99 phone number port fee, call screening, enhanced voicemail, anonymous call reject (best way to keep unwanted callers away), expanded International long distance calling, a smartphone app and many more features that will appeal to users who make a lot of business calls.
More than a solution, Ooma Telo feels like a comprehensive platform that can be as simple or as complex as users need it to be.
As a basic landline and home phone replacement, we found it to be simple to set up and easy to use. The call quality was consistently good within Canada and some parts of the US. It did not display that hollow and laggy quality that we've experienced with some VoIP solutions.
Anyone ready to give their phone provider the boot or who may have more advanced calling needs should consider the savings and convenience of VoIP and Ooma's solution the most well developed we've tried to date.
Say Goodbye to Expensive Phone Bills. Say hello to Ooma, a revolutionary device that allows you to call anywhere in Canada for free and make international calls for next to nothing. You pay only applicable taxes and fees. Simply connect the Ooma Telo to your high-speed Internet and your existing home phone, and that's it. Ooma comes with everything you would expect including voicemail, call-waiting, caller-ID, 911 service.
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