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pandora
Premium
join:2001-06-01
Outland
kudos:2
Reviews:
·ooma

1 edit

[Equipment] Setting up an Ooma with pictures and screen shots

This is my thread discussing installation and set up of an Ooma Internet VOIP device in early 2009.

Edit: Box scans removed to decrease thread download time, and due to complaints about them.
--
"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use."

pandora
Premium
join:2001-06-01
Outland
kudos:2
Reviews:
·ooma

1 edit

Re: [Equipment] Setting up an Ooma with pictures and screen shot

Click for full size
Front view
I'm waiting for a friend who will help me set up the Ooma Internet VOIP device. The area where it will be opened is ready, this is a shot before we get started.

Edit - Redacted pictures due to complaints, just left one of the box on a table.
--
"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use."


kieranmullen
Premium
join:2005-12-12
Portland, OR
What are we? Chopped liver? We dont count? Waaaa!

Seriously, just plug it in in front of your router (or behind if you want to see what hard it will really do)

Done

said by pandora:

I'm waiting for a friend who will help me set up the Ooma Internet VOIP device. The area where it will be opened is ready, these are some shots before we get started.
Expand your moderator at work


ptrowski
Got Helix?
Premium
join:2005-03-14
Putnam, CT
kudos:5
reply to kieranmullen

Re: [Equipment] Setting up an Ooma with pictures and screen shot

I agree with Kieranmullen, it should be pretty simple to install.

lstevens

join:2002-08-17
Brookline, MA
reply to pandora
Not really nice/friendly response IMHO. Although I personally do not have interest in this "unveiling", others might.

Such "unveiling's" are not uncommon on technical sites/blogs. And, the Oooma device IS a little non-standard. So I think it is not really so far out of line.

IMHO


kieranmullen
Premium
join:2005-12-12
Portland, OR
I am sorry if anything I said about liver offended anyone. I do not like liver and have not had it since I was a kid.

said by lstevens:

Not really nice/friendly response IMHO. Although I personally do not have interest in this "unveiling", others might.

Such "unveiling's" are not uncommon on technical sites/blogs. And, the Oooma device IS a little non-standard. So I think it is not really so far out of line.

IMHO

PX Eliezer70
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
KM, I don't think that they were commenting on your post, but rather on mine---a post that has already been "moderated" in record time.

I originally thought that this thread (topic) was a joke, but I now understand from lstevens posting, that the thread has a legitimate purpose.


kieranmullen
Premium
join:2005-12-12
Portland, OR
I know, I was attempting to be funny. Sorry

said by PX Eliezer70:

KM, I don't think that they were commenting on your post, but rather on mine---a post that has already been "moderated" in record time.

I originally thought that this thread (topic) was a joke, but I now understand from lstevens posting, that the thread has a legitimate purpose.

pandora
Premium
join:2001-06-01
Outland
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Reviews:
·ooma
reply to lstevens
Ooma is installed, I have a local phone number in my city (Danbury CT). On-line registration was too easy. It was a 5 page process, where the last page is a confirmation page.

The new phone number, was set up by the web and active to my unit within 2 minutes (within 2 minutes of hitting enter on page 4, which was the E911 stuff, I had dial tone and could make or receive calls).

I took calls from my AT&T landline, from my friends Verizon cell and from my AT&T cell.

Installation was behind my router.

Screenshots of the activation are available if anyone is interested.
--
"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use."

pandora
Premium
join:2001-06-01
Outland
kudos:2
Reviews:
·ooma
reply to lstevens
This isn't meant to be an unveiling, Ooma presents as a device a normal person can install. Hardware installation took about 3 minutes from the time the boxes were open.

Activation took about 2 minutes to enter the data, then another 2 minutes before it was activated.
--
"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use."

camfused

join:2004-07-14
Cary, NC
reply to pandora
pandora,

No comments yet from you on call quality, especially in comparison to VOIPo.

pandora
Premium
join:2001-06-01
Outland
kudos:2
Reviews:
·ooma
I use Future-Nine. Voice quality seems comparable. I'm currently using the same phone I use with my spare Future-Nine account. Another phone will be ordered shortly.

Literally within 10 minutes of opening the box, I had a working phone number for incoming and outgoing calls. That is impressive for activation.

I'd post the sign up web pages, but the response hasn't been great regarding picture posts on this thread.

It was 4 pages of data entry then a 5th summary page, then I had a working phone number within 2 minutes of the final data entry on the 4th web page.

The weird dial tone may take some getting used to. Once connected both parties her a 4 note Ooma tone. I'm not sure why Ooma does this.

I'm impressed by the ease of install, and rapid assignment of a phone number. At no time was I prompted for a credit card.
--
"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use."

B
Premium,MVM
join:2000-10-28
said by pandora:

The weird dial tone may take some getting used to. Once connected both parties her a 4 note Ooma tone. I'm not sure why Ooma does this.
Well that's kind of obnoxious. You can't turn it off?

Hmm, seems it's been discussed here recently:

»Ooma questions

"One odd thing about the ooma service is the ooma dial tone. There's a four note musical sequence that quickly plays when you first pick up the phone and before you get the dial tone. It's not overly loud or jarring; it's just different. However, when you place outgoing calls, the same little bit of music plays ever so lightly when the recipient of the call picks up the phone. I polled nearly everyone I called to see if they noticed it. About half did, but most of them didn't really think anything of it. Something about music playing lightly at the beginning of a call reminds me of that horrible pause that I hear from telemarketers after I pick up the phone, say hello, and they pause before launching into their script. To a certain degree, it's good branding for ooma as the notes tell the person your calling that you're using their service, but it doesn't change the fact that no matter how subtle it may be, it's still a bit odd. If I'm placing a business call to someone I'm interested in working with, I'm not sure if I want their first impression of me to be ooma's musical notes."
Well, that, and the fact that it signals to me that those four notes will include advertising at some point. Having both parties hear it is poor form.

Of course, functional audio is nice.

-- B
--
In a realm outside causality and function

PX Eliezer70
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13

1 edit
reply to pandora
said by pandora:

Literally within 10 minutes of opening the box, I had a working phone number for incoming and outgoing calls. That is impressive for activation.

I'd post the sign up web pages, but the response hasn't been great regarding picture posts on this thread.

....The weird dial tone may take some getting used to. Once connected both parties her a 4 note Ooma tone. I'm not sure why Ooma does this.

I'm impressed by the ease of install, and rapid assignment of a phone number. At no time was I prompted for a credit card.
This is very helpful. Thank you.

If you want to post more photos, please don't let my grumpiness stop you.

IMHO the photos which would be of highest interest would be those of the hardware configuration and connections, followed by the web pages. I think that the top of the carton is of lower interest.

As far as the "dial tones", as was previously posted, Ooma does this for advertising. They want the person you are calling to ask about it, and hence spread word of their product.

pandora
Premium
join:2001-06-01
Outland
kudos:2
reply to B
I'm unsure how it will affect calls. Only use will let me know. I like the monthly price.

priller

join:2000-10-20
Gainesville, VA

1 recommendation

reply to pandora

Kinda sounds like a VoIP Ponzie scheme.

You play a lot of money for a device upfront and get free unlimited phone service. This supposedly keeps going indefinitely because the service keeps alive by new customers buying a device.

pandora
Premium
join:2001-06-01
Outland
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Reviews:
·ooma
reply to PX Eliezer70
said by PX Eliezer70:

IMHO the photos which would be of highest interest would be those of the hardware configuration and connections, followed by the web pages. I think that the top of the carton is of lower interest.
I snipped your post, hope you don't mind. The Ooma box IS of interest, maybe the photos don't help. The packaging is great. You open the black box, and inside are two other black boxes. One labeled Core the other Scout.

Within the Core box for example are two sealed instruction sheets. One a user manual, which is written for very non-technical people, the other a quick sign up page. Which basically says go to »www.ooma.com/activate .

It is not like getting a PAP2T, where you sort of need to know what you are doing, or have access to a forum like this. Ooma is really designed for someone not technical to set up and use. The presentation of the box, is impressive, and is directed toward consumers not geeks.

The actual Ooma core is a bit larger than a PAP2T, maybe slightly flatter. It is white, and appears to be well constructed. When starting the entire thing glows red.

An Ooma tab is on it, which glows red when there is no service, and blue when service is working normally.

When you let the answering machine handle a call for you a loudspeaker in the Ooma lets you listen in on the message as its being recorded.

I think the newer style would look nicer, but even the current white Ooma looks great IMO.

Next post will have some screen shots to indicate how the install went.
--
"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use."

pandora
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reply to priller
I don't know how Ooma does it. I'm concerned that it is a Ponzi scheme. Maybe Nitzan can tell us what the wholesale cost of a customer is per year on average for Future-Nine.

The manual, boxing, and device are all impressive and well done. Activation was a snap.
--
"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use."


dcurrey
Premium
join:2004-06-29
Mason, OH
Reviews:
·Cincinnati Bell
·ViaTalk
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reply to pandora
said by pandora:

The weird dial tone may take some getting used to. Once connected both parties her a 4 note Ooma tone. I'm not sure why Ooma does this.
This is to allow call setup to complete. Otherwise you would say Hello, Hello, Hello.
--
Any unauthorized use of your own judgment is strictly prohibited.

PX Eliezer70
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
reply to pandora
said by pandora:

.....The packaging is great. You open the black box, and inside are two other black boxes. One labeled Core the other Scout....
Yes, now this is good stuff. Thank you.

pandora
Premium
join:2001-06-01
Outland
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Reviews:
·ooma

2 edits
reply to ptrowski
Click for full size
Ooma activate welcome page at ooma.com slash activate
Click for full size
Page to enter last 6 digits of MAC address for device activation
Click for full size
Page 3 start, are you going to port your existing number?
Click for full size
Would you like a new Ooma phone number or to use your existing phone line?
Click for full size
Enter an area code and exchange near where you want your new Ooma number to be.
Click for full size
Personal information page, name, address, email.
Here are some screen shots of the Ooma activation process. It was very simple, and very quick. It took less time to activate Ooma than to process and save my screen shots.

Within 2 minutes of completing the above forms, I had a working phone number.

Edit to note the following, personal information and the actual phone numbers were redacted from the images. If you see anything that looks personal, please let me know so it can be removed. Thanks!
--
"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use."

B
Premium,MVM
join:2000-10-28
reply to dcurrey
said by dcurrey:

said by pandora:

The weird dial tone may take some getting used to. Once connected both parties her a 4 note Ooma tone. I'm not sure why Ooma does this.
This is to allow call setup to complete. Otherwise you would say Hello, Hello, Hello.
Seriously? Or are you just kidding, dcurrey? I mean, why would Ooma be "special" in this regard over every other telephone connection before it? (Although in fairness I still do a fair amount of "hello, hello" with Viatalk.)

By the way, pandora, I don't see what's so impressive about things working out of the box -- they pretty much all work that way with pre-provisioned adapters. Certainly in my limited experience both Sunrocket and Viatalk did (or would have if my network supported DHCP).

-- B
--
In a realm outside causality and function


dcurrey
Premium
join:2004-06-29
Mason, OH
Reviews:
·Cincinnati Bell
·ViaTalk
·Time Warner Cable

3 edits
Just a wild guess. But a reasonable explanation, sort of, in a round about kind of way.

It could just be a simple advertising scheme to get the people being called to ask what it was. Nothing better than word of mouth advertising.

--
Any unauthorized use of your own judgment is strictly prohibited.

PX Eliezer70
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
reply to pandora
said by pandora:

I don't know how Ooma does it. I'm concerned that it is a Ponzi scheme. Maybe Nitzan can tell us what the wholesale cost of a customer is per year on average for Future-Nine.....
Originally when their connections involved P2P their business model was more understandable.

Now that they say they no longer use any P2P, it is more difficult to figure out how they can do it over the long term.

But let's use very, very rough figures. Let's start with a price of $ 240 and guess that the device costs them $ 40. That leaves $ 200. Let's assume that inbound and outbound minutes on the average cost them $ 0.005 (or half a cent per minute). Not taking into account administration, advertising, and profit (!) that would allow 40,000 minutes. If we assume a user has total inbound/outbound minutes of 1200 per month then that allows for about 33 months. Again, not even considering profit.

I'm sure folks can jump all over these figures, but it's a start.

IPKall receives payments for inbound calls from the sending carriers. MagicJack gets a boost by owning its own CLEC. I don't think either model applies here.

nitzan
Premium,VIP
join:2008-02-27
kudos:8
reply to pandora
said by pandora:

I don't know how Ooma does it. I'm concerned that it is a Ponzi scheme. Maybe Nitzan can tell us what the wholesale cost of a customer is per year on average for Future-Nine.
Well, the "free phone calls for life" scheme is deceiving. It is free for the life of the device - not your life.

Assuming your device lasts a couple of years, at $200+ per device they'll still make a profit.

BUT (and here comes the BUT):
1. Ooma has a serious history of throwing money away. They are DEEP in debt for a company their size. Not a good starting point.
2. They have WAY too many employees (48!) for a company their size.
3. Once devices start failing, and users start complaining about the devices not being replaced - I suspect sales will suffer. No one can offer you true free service for life. You can't make something from nothing - the world doesn't work that way.

They're basically a small business that's trying to act like a big business. Someone/something has to pay 48 salaries, not to mention call termination/origination/etc.

I think the idea behind Ooma and the execution are great - but financial management is lacking and will be their demise eventually. More likely than not they'll last a year or two, then either go bankrupt - or get bought by someone else.

pandora
Premium
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Outland
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Reviews:
·ooma
reply to PX Eliezer70
said by PX Eliezer70:

IPKall receives payments for inbound calls from the sending carriers. MagicJack gets a boost by owning its own CLEC. I don't think either model applies here.
You make great points, and it appears this service is destined to fail. Unless there is something about how they've priced it that we don't understand.

You may wish to check reviews at Amazon sometime. I didn't believe them, but there were so many. The device worked as promised, without any difficulty. Many of the problems reported on Amazon are due to interference between DSL and the communication between the Core and Scout. If those are excluded, there are few really negative reviews.
--
"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use."

pandora
Premium
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Outland
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·ooma
reply to nitzan
Nitzan,
I agree with you. At the same time, it seemed interesting enough to try. The execution so far has been impressive.

Life of product can be an issue, the Core (I haven't touched the Scout yet), seems to be well made. It uses an external power brick. Everything about the core, cables, brick, unit, are translucent white. The color on start goes to red, then there is a tab easily viewable on the unit which glows red or blue depending on functionality of the connection.

I do not know how Ooma can offer free lifetime service, it seems nuts. Do they have a special relationship with a CLEC? Do we know how large the company is? What sales are?

Amazon seems to be selling a ton of these, as does Costco and Bestbuy. I'm guessing buyers at those corporations at least wanted some demonstration of viability. Selling a product that won't work in a few months is bad business. Yet most major electronics retailers are selling these.
--
"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use."

pandora
Premium
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reply to PX Eliezer70
Nitzan helped to identify the carrier for my Ooma number, it appears to be Choice One. I don't know how that affects me, or Ooma for that matter.
--
"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use."

nitzan
Premium,VIP
join:2008-02-27
kudos:8
reply to PX Eliezer70
said by PX Eliezer70:

Originally when their connections involved P2P their business model was more understandable.

Now that they say they no longer use any P2P, it is more difficult to figure out how they can do it over the long term.
Agreed. As a P2P model this sounded somewhat realistic. Once they got out of that model it's pretty much impossible to provide real unlimited calls "for life".

But let's use very, very rough figures. Let's start with a price of $ 240 and guess that the device costs them $ 40. That leaves $ 200. Let's assume that inbound and outbound minutes on the average cost them $ 0.005 (or half a cent per minute). Not taking into account administration, advertising, and profit (!) that would allow 40,000 minutes. If we assume a user has total inbound/outbound minutes of 1200 per month then that allows for about 33 months. Again, not even considering profit.
This sounds about right, I think 1200 minutes a month on average is a bit high - but on the other hand $0.005/minute is true only for heavily populated metro areas. A closer average would be something like $0.006-007. They might get a $0.0001 discount due to size, but that's about it.

There are some other costs to consider too:
1. Per-DID pricing. Probably around 25 cents per month.
2. CID Name per-call price (I assume they provide CID Name??). This isn't expensive, but should be at least another 25 cents a month on average.
3. They don't actually get $200 or $250 when a device sells at Best Buy or other retail stores. I imagine the store keeps a nice chunk of that money.