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New Ooma Device Offers Unlimited Free Domestic Calling

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What would you do with $27 million in venture capital funding?

 

Would you use it to develop a $399 gadget that might take down the telecommunications industry?

 

That seems to be the business plan for Ooma, Inc., a Silicon Valley start-up that's selling a device - so far, by invitation only - that will provide unlimited free domestic calls for homes with broadband Internet service, according to this Physorg.com article. The company also offers a free second line, voice mail and conference calling, with plans in the works for call-forwarding to mobile phones.

 

And best of all, once you buy the device, that's it - no more service fees, other than maintaining your broadband connection.

 

The device uses your standard phone and - unlike Skype - the people you call can be on a regular phone service. According to the article, the technology uses a call routing algorithm that is similar to distributed computing. So far, it's only available to home residents, but the plan is to target home-based and small businesses.

 

It's a neat idea, but as the story points out, the phone hasn't exactly proven a fruitful ground for new companies. That said, at $399, the company wouldn't have to last very long - I figure two years at a minimum - for you to recoup your costs.

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