Obi110 With Google Talk

I ordered the Obi110 from Amazon last week. Today, it finally came. For those not familiar with the Obi110, it’s an analog terminal adapter (ATA), from Obihai Technology. It allows you to use old analog phones to make free phone calls to anyone via the Internet using Google Voice.

With the Obi110, I can use Google Voice or any SIP service or provider such as Callcentric, Sipgate, Vitelity or to make phone calls anywhere. Any old analog telephone will work. There is no need for a computer or a softphone.

The Obi110 is a standalone device that’s connected to your home network. When you make a call, your call will be routed via your network and out to the internet. Pairing the Obi110 with Google Voice is ideal, since Google Voice allows you to make free phone calls to any landline or mobile phone in the United States or Canada.

When I received the device about an hour ago, all I had to do was register the device at Obihai’s website. I added Google Voice in the configuration. The setup was relatively easy. The Obi110 costs about $50.00. It’s one time fee. There are no monthly fees, no taxes, no surcharges.

Google Voice is currently free, until Google changes its mind. If you’re not convinced about Obi110, check out the great reviews of this product at Amazon. In addition, here’s a couple of great Youtube videos for your viewing pleasure.

Obi110 Review

This is a great review of the Obi110 device. It contains all the info you need to familiarize yourself with the device. The reviewer doesn’t really start talking about the Obi110 until about 4:15. You can probably skip the first 4 minutes.

How to Setup the Obi110

The Setup of the Obi110 was super easy. It’s intuitive. I didn’t even read the instructions. Less than 5 minutes later, I was making phone calls.

What’s next?

I will probably cancel my Vonage and MagicJack subscriptions. Vonage is great, but not at $30 a month. I also have the old MagicJack model which I will not renew. The older MagicJack I have still needs a computer, plus it’s about $40 a year.

With Google Voice and the Obi110 ATA, my monthly phone service cost me nothing. The price is right, it’s zero, zilch, nada, as long as Google keeps their end of the bargain.

The real challenge is trying to port my Vonage number to Google Voice. It’s going to be a lengthy process to port my number. I have to port the Vonage number first to a wireless carrier, then port it again to Google Voice. I can’t port directly from Vonage to Google. Google charges $20 to port a wireless number.

Vonage Legal Troubles

I’m one of the 2.2 million customers of Vonage, the telecommunications company that offers telephone services through the internet. Verizon has sued Vonage for infringing over five of its patents. A jury earlier this year awarded Verizon $58 million in damages and ordered Vonage to stop using its technology. Vonage is currently working on an alternative, but raises concerns if it’s able to meet the deadline.

Majority of the company’s $607.4 million in revenue last year came from charging customers with monthly subscription fees of about $25. How’s the market responding? Not good. Vonage has lost more than $720 million since going public, $338.6 million from last year alone. The company’s stock priced at $17 in the IPO last May has plummeted down to more than 80 percent at the close yesterday at $3.31.

I hope the best for Vonage since I like their service. The price is perfect at $25 per month. What’s the alternative? Well, Comcast offers $39 for existing Comcast cable and high speed internet users. It’s $55 per month if you just want Digital Voice service alone. Comcast does offer a promo for $33 dollars each for the three services of television cable, high speed internet and telephone service for a grand total of about $99 per month. Then, there’s always AT&T’s landline.