updated 04:00 pm EDT, Wed October 29, 2008
ooma adds new features
On Wednesday, VoIP phone line provider ooma announced it has enhanced its phone system by adding features while reducing costs. The service now allows users to add as many as nine virtual phone numbers, each with their own area code, giving users the option to assign a new number to a user's home office business and assign a specific number to each member of the family. Ringtones for each phone number are customizable so users know which number is being phoned, or each virtual phone line can be assigned to a specific phone in the home. Each number has its own voicemail inbox with individual settings, including those outlined below.
Another new feature includes ooma's ability to send a copy of a voicemail to users' email inbox or cellular phone, with either notifications, attachments or both that can be delivered up to three different email or SMS addresses. Another option to help users always be connected, called Multi-Ring, includes the system's ability to forward calls or ring both the home line and a user's mobile phone number or any other specified number at the same time.
Users can further customize their service via an online ooma Lounge, where a call log of all incoming and outgoing calls can be accessed. From the list, users can blacklist any number to their own virtual phone line or all of them, resulting in no more connection from the specified numbers.
Existing ooma Premier service subscribers are receiving the new features via a software update.
The ooma system uses the ooma Hub, a Linux-based platform connected to a broadband connection and a primary phone. The ooma Core system that includes the Hub and a Scout device, which allows users to connect the system to multiple phone jacks in their home, costs nearly $250. The ooma Premier service is optional, priced at $13 per month or $100 annually.