released their OBiON application for the iPhone. In some ways Obihai is very similar to the very hyped Ooma product, which Rich Tehrani likes
, but I was initially not a fan of
until they changed their business model. Obihai was started by the founders of the creators of the very first analog telephony adapters, the Komodo Fone 300, which was used by VOnage. A Little VoIP History: I got one of the earliest prototypes of the Komodo Fone 300 ATA device, which I reviewed for Internet Telephony Magazine back in 2000
. Interestingly, Komodo was acquired by Cisco soon after my TMC Labs review and the Komodo 300 became the popular Cisco ATA-186. Rich told me about Obihai a couple months ago but never had a chance to check them out.
In any case, both Oooma and Obihai sell hardware platforms that act as VoIP gateways. Both allow you to dial into their hardware platform, and get virtual 2nd dialtone to dial back out. OBi endpoints such as the Obi110 (below) support free calls between one another without the use of a computer.
Interestingly, the Obihai products feature some social network aspects as well. You can add people to your Circle of Trust so they can call via your OBi and you can also ask to be added to a Circle of Trust so you can make calls via their OBi device. So for instance, support you want free calls to London. Find an Obi user in London and request to be in their circle of trust. Likewise, you can allow them into your circle so they can make free calls in your local calling area.
OBiON for the iPhone makes it possible to place and receive free calls to/from other OBi endpoints using the OBiTALK network and your iPhone's Wi-Fi or 3G connection to the Internet. All you need to know is the 9-digit OBi number. Calls with regular land line and mobile phones are possible when using an Obihai OBi Voice Service Bridge device.
If you call an Obihai OBi110 Voice Service Bridge, your call can be bridged (2nd dialtone) to another service like your local Telco or a VoIP service to reach land lines and mobiles.
Your OBiON iPhone app can also receive calls from other OBi endpoints when they dial your 9-digit OBi number. Calls from a regular phone or the PSTN can ring your OBi number by using an Obihai OBi110 Voice Service Bridge.
- Make or Receive Calls To/From Other OBi Endpoints
- Make or Receive Calls To/From Land Lines and Mobiles Via an OBi Voice Service Bridge
- Make Calls Using 9-Digit OBi No.
- Make Calls Using OBiTALK Speed Dials (99)
- Call Log / History (Made, Received, Missed)
- Dial From Call History
- Clear Call History (All / Individual)
- Contact List
- Add to Contacts from Call Log
- Add/Remove Contacts Manually
- Dial From Contact List
- Remove Contact
- Log-In / Log-Out with OBiTALK UN/PW
- Synchronization with OBiTALK
- Manage OBi Devices and Soft Phones
- Add/Remove Devices
- Add/Remove Services (SIP Accounts)
- Edit OBi Endpoint Names
- Manage Your OBi Circle of Trust (CoT)
- Add People to Your CoT
- Request to be Added to Another CoT
- Manage Trusted Caller ID Numbers
- Speed Dial List (99) Network Based
You can purchase the Obi110 Voice Service Bridge and Terminal Adapter on Amazon for $49.99
, while the OBiON app is a free download on iTunes