Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Obihai Announces OBiTALK Approved Service Provider Program

Anveo and Phone Power the First VoIP Providers Offering Seamless Set-Up of Voice and Fax Services to OBi Device Owners for Under $40 per Year


Obihai Technology, a leading endpoint device manufacturer in the Voice over IP (VoIP) industry and maker of best-selling OBi universal VoIP adapters has announced a new program that will allow service providers to provision VoIP services on OBi VoIP phone adapters and IP phones seamlessly. 

The OBiTALK Approved Service Provider (ASP) program comes at an opportune time for service providers and OBi device owners alike.  Currently, hundreds of thousands of homes and small businesses have an OBi device used with the free Google Voice™ Service.  The Google service uses a communication protocol called XMPP to connect the OBi to the service.  Late last year, Google announced as of May 15th, XMPP would no longer be supported for third-party VoIP applications.  With that, after May 15th Obihai will no longer support the Google Voice service on its OBi devices.

Starting today, OBi device owners can switch their voice service from Google Voice to an OBiTALK ASP partner easily, by going to the www.OBiTALK.com portal and selecting the Approved Service Providers link.  Listed there are multiple service options, including offers from Anveo and Phone Power available for the exclusive use of OBi device owners.  Service plans start at under $40 per year and include all the features needed for a primary-line voice service – including E911 emergency services calling. More ASP partners are expected to be approved and added in the coming months.

“The OBiTALK ASP program provides a great way for VoIP service providers to offer services to Obihai’s customers that meet their specific communication needs for home and small office usage,” said Obihai President and CEO, Jan Fandrianto. He went on to say, “End users will love it because they maintain control of the services running on their OBi. The OBi device is not locked to a single service provider.”

The OBiTALK ASP program allows the provision of an unlocked OBi device purchased for BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) services use.  Specifically, the models supported by the OBiTALK ASP program are the OBi100, OBi110, OBi200 and OBi202. The OBiTALK service API (Application Programming Interface) provides the magic happening under the covers of the OBiTALK portal.  Via a secure API connected to the service provider’s subscriber sign-up process, devices are able to make and receive calls minutes from when the subscriber initially selects their service. The combination of a subscriber-purchased device, eCommerce fulfillment and the shared-support model employed between Obihai and the service provider allows the service provider to offer a complete phone service at a low price yet maintain high first-time installation success rates.

For consumers, another valuable element of the OBiTALK ASP program is the advertised prices for OBiTALK ASP partner offerings include all taxes and fees. Too often, consumers are met with an unwelcome charge because they did not see or understand the fine print or became confused as to the final price of the service.  With OBiTALK ASP partner offerings, consumers will have a choice amongst several clearly-priced services made available exclusively to OBi device owners.

For those who want to continue to use their Google Voice number with a newly configured OBiTALK ASP partner’s service, there are a couple options.  The first is to port the Google Voice number to the service provider’s network.  This may incur a porting fee and take time to complete. The second way to keep using a Google Voice number is easy and instant. The OBi owner enters a new phone number assigned by the service provider into the Google Voice “forwards calls to” phone settings.  Once this is done, calls to the OBi owner’s Google Voice number will be forwarded directly to the OBi device, ringing their attached phone normally. When making calls, if offered by the ASP partner, OBi customers will be able to set up a custom outgoing Caller ID number, e.g. their Google Voice number, during the sign-up process on the ASP partner’s website.

Gmail and Google Voice are trademarks of Google, Inc. Other company names mentioned herein are the registered trademarks or service marks of their respective owners.