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Author Topic: OBi Phone Service $39.99/year  (Read 79116 times)
azrobert
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« on: January 01, 2014, 07:09:39 am »

http://blog.obihai.com/
« Last Edit: January 01, 2014, 07:11:14 am by azrobert » Logged
thunderstruck
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« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2014, 08:55:54 am »

Who's the partner, and far more important, how many minutes?
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giqcass
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« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2014, 01:52:59 pm »

My first guess..........  Anveo

At this price point my guess is 300-500 outgoing minutes.

Completely guessing but this is my logic.  Anveo appears to be partnered with Obi based on their recomending them for 911.  Anveo has Geo caller Id so it's no stretch to think they would be willing to send our GV caller ID. Based on Anveo pricing schedules and the assumption we will get a small break for the year contract.

 $3.33
-$0.80 caller ID
_______________
$2.53 Calling Credit

$2.53/$0.01= 253 minutes
I assume Obi negotiated some kind of price break so they round up to 300 minutes.  Based on the post I don't believe these minutes will roll over.  If they don't roll over and we figure in for users that won't use all of their minutes Anveo could be generous and add 200 minutes without affecting their bottom line.  Thus giving us 500 minutes total outbound.  

It is unlikely they could compete with magic jack  on outbound minutes because Anveo offers a higher level of service.  In addition Magic Jack is "Jacking" up their prices for those that want 911 calling.

I have no information that is not available to everyone else so don't ask me if I have any inside info.  This is just a guess.  For the noobs I don't work for Obi or Anveo.  Anyone elses guess is just as good as mine.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2014, 02:35:09 pm by giqcass » Logged

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sdb-
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« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2014, 07:13:07 am »

Your logic seems reasonable to me, we'll see how it pans out!

BTW, Anveo does allow me to set my GV number for outgoing calls.  (As does Localphone.)  I still think my combination of Anveo and Localphone is cheaper than their bundle offer.  And my ala carte approach is definitely more flexible.
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giqcass
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« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2014, 09:14:30 am »

Your logic seems reasonable to me, we'll see how it pans out!

BTW, Anveo does allow me to set my GV number for outgoing calls.  (As does Localphone.)  I still think my combination of Anveo and Localphone is cheaper than their bundle offer.  And my ala carte approach is definitely more flexible.

I have settled on Localphone for outbound calling myself.  I'm still deciding on inbound routing.  I also have a MagicJack with a free year of service.   I won't renew it after the year is up.  After the year is up or maybe even before if service sucks I'll use it as an FXS for my computer.
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carl
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« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2014, 07:28:09 pm »

Your logic seems reasonable to me, we'll see how it pans out!

BTW, Anveo does allow me to set my GV number for outgoing calls.  (As does Localphone.)  I still think my combination of Anveo and Localphone is cheaper than their bundle offer.  And my ala carte approach is definitely more flexible.

Most certainly is. But anveo is the most likely candidate indeed. Their lack of free customer service on economy accounts is very much like Google Voice Google Voice. Grin
For me, the combo Localphone/ Callcentric with free NYC DID works the best.
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Cyclone
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« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2014, 03:51:19 pm »

$3.33
-$0.80 caller ID
_______________
$2.53 Calling Credit

$2.53/$0.01= 253 minutes

This plan is suppose to include a phone number and unlimited incoming. Anveo normally charges $2 a month for that.
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giqcass
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« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2014, 12:12:22 am »

$3.33
-$0.80 caller ID
_______________
$2.53 Calling Credit

$2.53/$0.01= 253 minutes

This plan is suppose to include a phone number and unlimited incoming. Anveo normally charges $2 a month for that.
They should generate a small revenue on inbound calling to help offset the cost of the DID itself.  Giving away the DID should cost a company like Anveo next to nothing after you figure that in.  I don't think they will be able to discount the 911 any further because they already have the lowest price in the industry.  I expect DIDs in certain areas to be unavailable and not necessarily as good a selection as the $2 DID they sell.
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thunderstruck
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« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2014, 06:47:13 am »

Has anyone actually tried Localphone? The very few reviews I was able to find gave them the worst possible ratings.
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giqcass
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« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2014, 10:16:16 pm »

Has anyone actually tried Localphone? The very few reviews I was able to find gave them the worst possible ratings.
  I haven't had issues but I've barely used them.  You can buy as little as $1 worth of credit which = 200 minutes to the US and they give you a free 5 minute call even before you buy credit.
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sdb-
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« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2014, 12:04:43 am »

Today I received my localphone statement for my first month of usage.

55 calls, total duration 3:46:47 for $1.329 (including a 1 minute call to Alaska at 2.9c/minute).

Call quality has been good, better than google voice.

I have had a few reports that my caller ID has not come thru, but every time I've tested it has come thru correctly.
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dircom
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« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2014, 07:39:12 am »

......
I have had a few reports that my caller ID has not come thru, but every time I've tested it has come thru correctly.
your caller id usually comes thru, but do people on the receiving end get your name also?
« Last Edit: January 05, 2014, 07:41:34 am by dircom » Logged
sdb-
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« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2014, 07:46:05 am »

......
I have had a few reports that my caller ID has not come thru, but every time I've tested it has come thru correctly.
when you call you using local phone, you say caller id usually works.
do they people on the receiving end get CNAM also?

My understanding of how the U.S. phone system works, is that only the caller id (phone number) is transmitted from originating carrier to destination carrier.  That destination carrier does a lookup in one or more databases to get the caller's name (CNAM) and sends the number and name to their subscriber (the callee).  The callee's phone can also do a lookup and report that information in addition to or instead of the CNAM from their carrier (like my panasonic phones).

So yes, when I place a call using Localphone it behaves as I expect, every time I test. But one of my neighbors has reported once or twice, as have my inlaws, that my call came thru as "private."
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SteveInWA
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« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2014, 06:12:15 pm »

RE:  Caller ID name, or CNAM, expanding on sdb's comments:

In basic terms (leaving out the technology-used details), the original caller ID system simply displayed the calling party's telephone number, derived from the phone switches setting up the call.  As long as the calling party's number is permitted to be displayed (the caller hasn't enabled caller ID blocking, or the caller isn't using some sort of scheme to avoid displaying the caller ID or otherwise alter/spoof it), AND the called party subscribes to caller ID service on their end, with their telco, then the sent number is displayed.

Caller ID NAME was added later.  Since the phone network didn't send any sort of name data along with the call, the called party's telco used the calling party's number to perform a database lookup on their end, then added a string to the caller ID data sent to the called party.  This all depends on 1) the calling party's telco "feeding" their subscribers' names and matching numbers to the various third-party database maintainers, and 2) the called party's telco paying for the use of those databases, which obviously cost money to maintain.

There are many problems with the system now:  before the telco monopoly was deregulated, the "Baby Bell" carriers and the General Telephone and few other incumbent carriers maintained their own DBs.  Now, there are various independent companies also selling the databases, and the accuracy and currency of their DBs varies.  When they don't have a matching record, they, or the telco doing the lookup, may substitute some other string, such as the city and/or state of the caller, which is easily obtained from the area code and prefix.  Or, they may display "Wireless Caller", for mobile numbers, since many cell phone carriers don't feed the DBs.  (Sprint and T-Mobile do; I dunno about the others).

Finally, as has been pointed out, some non-telco alternatives exist:  VoIP ITSP providers like Callcentric may offer a way for their subscribers to load in their own name/number data, and use that as an override for any telco-provided data.  Telephone hardware, like most modern cordless or "feature" telephones, can also hold an address book in the phone itself, so what you end up seeing when the phone rings can come from a variety of sources.
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giqcass
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« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2014, 01:19:10 am »

I am of the understanding the information SteveInWA wrote above is correct for the US and most other locations.  I also believe based on reading that CNAM is usually tossed out even when it is transmitted with CID.  If you want your CNAM information to show up you can submit the info to some of the databases.  I don't remember how to do that but it was discussed here before.  Since there are so many it's impossible to tell whether the info will show up when calling any one provider.  In the case of calling someone on the same sip provider you can often register the CNAM info you would like to display.  This does not seem to carry over to PSTN calls or calls to other sip providers so far as I can see.

Minor Rant:
Honestly the whole CNAM/CID system could use an update.  There is no way to be sure you are talking to the person you think you are talking to when you receive a call.  The data is too easy to fake.  My policy is to never discuss private information with someone that calls me.  If they need that kind of information I call them back.  The SMS system in the US is far more secure when it comes to identity.
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SteveInWA
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« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2014, 02:01:26 am »

I am of the understanding the information SteveInWA wrote above is correct for the US and most other locations.

I didn't think I needed your approval on my posts, but thanks, anyway.   Roll Eyes
I also believe based on reading that CNAM is usually tossed out even when it is transmitted with CID.  If you want your CNAM information to show up you can submit the info to some of the databases.

CNAM isn't transmitted from the calling party's PSTN, period.  It is always a database look-up by the called party's telco.  I tried the "listyourself" website once in the past.  It's useless/broken/doesn't work for consumers; it's mainly a company selling database services.
Minor Rant:
Honestly the whole CNAM/CID system could use an update.  There is no way to be sure you are talking to the person you think you are talking to when you receive a call.  The data is too easy to fake.  My policy is to never discuss private information with someone that calls me.  If they need that kind of information I call them back.  The SMS system in the US is far more secure when it comes to identity.

Caller ID was useful as a authentication system only under the original monopoly, closed Bell System.  After the deregulation, that level of vertically-integrated database management went away, and it became merely informational.  With the later advent of VoIP, and caller ID spoofing via PBX and SIP server software, its trust level declined substantially, but it's still useful as one piece of information, in context.  If I get a call with caller ID = Wells Fargo, I don't trust it at all.  If I get a caller ID with my best friend's name, it's highly likely to be him.  While you could argue that SMS sender ID is more secure, it isn't "far" more secure, as it's also easy to spoof.  Unfortunately, millions of people, often elderly and of low income, are scammed by both phone and text, using combinations of false or misleading identification or social engineering.  The best defense is education, not technology.
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giqcass
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« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2014, 06:07:18 am »

CNAM isn't transmitted from the calling party's PSTN, period.  It is always a database look-up by the called party's telco.  I tried the "listyourself" website once in the past.  It's useless/broken/doesn't work for consumers; it's mainly a company selling database services.

Although I can not personally verify it my reading suggests otherwise.  Telephone systems differ from one country to the next.  You really must consider the US and Canada as legacy telephone carriers. Do you have any Idea how far our telecommunication systems are behind other countries? 

I am of course not referring to third world countries.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2014, 06:17:38 am by giqcass » Logged

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SteveInWA
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« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2014, 04:20:12 pm »

CNAM isn't transmitted from the calling party's PSTN, period.  It is always a database look-up by the called party's telco.  I tried the "listyourself" website once in the past.  It's useless/broken/doesn't work for consumers; it's mainly a company selling database services.

Although I can not personally verify it my reading suggests otherwise.  Telephone systems differ from one country to the next.  You really must consider the US and Canada as legacy telephone carriers. Do you have any Idea how far our telecommunication systems are behind other countries? 

I am of course not referring to third world countries.

My original answer was accurate, relevant to the discussion, and was simply expanding on the also-correct answer that sdb posted.

Given that the majority of OBi users are making US-based telephone calls, and there was no mention of international telcos in this thread, I was describing the PSTN Caller ID system as developed and implemented by the Bell System in the United States of America.  That system is still used by USA-based carriers, for calls terminated on USA PSTN DIDs.  Of course it doesn't apply to many other countries' phone systems, which have many other characteristics that differ from the US system.  The service isn't even known as "Caller ID" in most other countries.  I didn't think I needed a disclaimer to avoid a pedantic argument from you, but here you go: 

My posts refer solely to the PSTN and VoIP technology deployed by US-based LECs and ITSPs.  They do not apply to non-US countries, nor to military communications, ham radio, smoke signals, ship-to-shore communications, secret agent gizmos, tin cans and string, or yodeling.   If you have an erection lasting more than four hours, seek medical help immediately.  Warning, objects in mirror are closer than they appear, this bag is not a toy, and the beverage you are about to enjoy is very hot.
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gderf
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« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2014, 04:30:11 pm »

@SteveInWA

ROFL
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Ostracus
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« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2014, 04:42:39 pm »

The bad thing about Caller-ID is how much of the Obi's functionality goes away/impaired if it's broken, or missing. IMHO I personally like the Canadian way of doing it.
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