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Author Topic: Coming Soon: Ring.to a new OBiTALK ASP with Absolutely FREE Calling!  (Read 134871 times)
swg0101
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Posts: 22


« Reply #20 on: May 16, 2014, 05:27:11 pm »

Sounds like a bait and switch technique to me... although the integration shouldn't require any firmware changes since they currently use SIP for the integration. If you currently use Groove IP, you can even get a number without porting an existing one over... their site does seem to be quite buggy at the moment..
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freealta
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« Reply #21 on: May 17, 2014, 03:28:24 pm »

Well, this new Obihai device requirement is pissing a lot of existing users off. Of course, if it was offered to everyone, the people who had already signed up for an annual package with the other authorized VOIP providers would be pissed as well.
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AlanB
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« Reply #22 on: May 17, 2014, 04:34:25 pm »

Sounds like a bait and switch technique to me... although the integration shouldn't require any firmware changes since they currently use SIP for the integration. If you currently use Groove IP, you can even get a number without porting an existing one over... their site does seem to be quite buggy at the moment..
It's not bait and switch. Any Obi bought before May 1 works fine ( although maybe not on GV for long)

Many companies offer incentives for new customers that don't apply to past purchases.  We may not like it but it's not bait and switch.
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swg0101
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Posts: 22


« Reply #23 on: May 17, 2014, 08:21:00 pm »

Sounds like a bait and switch technique to me... although the integration shouldn't require any firmware changes since they currently use SIP for the integration. If you currently use Groove IP, you can even get a number without porting an existing one over... their site does seem to be quite buggy at the moment..
It's not bait and switch. Any Obi bought before May 1 works fine ( although maybe not on GV for long)

Many companies offer incentives for new customers that don't apply to past purchases.  We may not like it but it's not bait and switch.

I am referring to the part where Ring.to may become "paid" in the future, not the part where it requires you to purchase the OBi after a certain date. Since the site itself is still vague in its entirety, it would be interesting to see if they end up discontinuing service or switch to a paid / tiered model as they seem to imply on their website.

Quoted from their website:
Quote
Bandwidth, the company behind RingTo has over a decade of supporting disruptive communications companies. We believe that your phone number is a powerful asset and by using the RingTo service, you are actually helping us refine our systems that are commercialized in other areas of Bandwidth’s business.

The RingTo service will be completely free for the foreseeable future. Don’t worry – we won’t hit you with a bill by surprise, and there will always be a free tier to our service when / if we decide to charge for the service. Early adopters (like you) can expect to get every feature RingTo offers, at no cost, and we’ll give you at least a month of advanced notice if we ever do start charging. Unlike other service providers, we do not charge you to port your number in and we do not charge or block you from taking your number out.
 
OK – There is ONE catch. You have to port your number in to RingTo if you want to enjoy the service.

The fact that you have to port your number to them to enjoy their service is somewhat suspect (and the fact that it's so easy and free makes it sound like the "hook" factor - note how many porting articles they have on their website from the various providers.) This is especially the case since they have already mentioned about free "tiers" in the beginning of their service. It is also quite interesting that they are calling phone numbers a powerful asset to their company. I don't doubt any of their statements though, but it would be curious as to what path their business takes.

It won't be surprising if it turns out to something like this (not saying it would):

1. Wait until at least 100,000 users sign up, add limited free international calling + SIP + mobile calling to attract new users.
2. Offer free service for at least 2 years to indicate stability.
3. Slowly transition to a tiered model where outbound minutes are limited to offer "free" usage, with the option to buy more usage or "referrals" to "earn" usage. Inbound minutes remain unlimited (this is because carriers get paid with inbound calls).

This way they continue to hook you with freebies, but at the same time get more potential customers in their service who may be interested in their paid offerings. Since they already got most people to port in their home phones at this time (good timing with Google Voice?), limits are likely to make people cough up cash (e.g. if the free outbound cap is limited to 200 minutes a minute, but that is not quite enough to meet your home phone needs.) This is the only way I could see a phone number being an "asset" and how the business could operate if they are not putting ads in your phones calls...

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AlanB
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« Reply #24 on: May 17, 2014, 09:05:46 pm »

Gotcha. Thanks for clarifying.
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nitzan
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« Reply #25 on: May 17, 2014, 10:31:06 pm »

1. Wait until at least 100,000 users sign up, add limited free international calling + SIP + mobile calling to attract new users.
2. Offer free service for at least 2 years to indicate stability.
3. Slowly transition to a tiered model where outbound minutes are limited to offer "free" usage, with the option to buy more usage or "referrals" to "earn" usage. Inbound minutes remain unlimited (this is because carriers get paid with inbound calls).
I think you're giving them too much credit. More likely they are in panic mode because Google Voice is one of their largest customers if not the largest, and if/when GV blocks XMPP Bandwidth stands to lose millions of numbers which Google was paying for until now. My speculation is that this is a desperate attempt to keep these numbers in-house, but they haven't actually thought this through i.e. how exactly to monetize it. Likely once they realize they can't/fail to monetize it (you can't start charging for a free service - 99% of people will leave immediately) they'll just discontinue it. I suspect this will eventually happen with Google Voice too - they seemed to have lost interest and wanting to cut costs, so it's just a matter of time.
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swg0101
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« Reply #26 on: May 17, 2014, 11:04:42 pm »

 Grin, good point, although I am curious whether the discontinuation of XMPP services will actually lead to porting away or whether users will try to "workaround" the issue and keep the pool of numbers relatively the same.
For example, Callcentric offers free NY numbers from Telengy, and I am pretty sure many users will opt for that for forwarding to get a means for an inbound SIP trunk (bonus: Callcentric offers CNAM lookups for free). That said, Telengy is known to have issues with GV forwarding and sometimes phone just don't ring at all. Interestingly, all free numbers assigned by Callcentric has a LRN of 16465701001, and wholesale rates to that prefix doesn't seem all that expensive (although slightly higher than AT&T). I am not quite sure how Google does their routing, although some prefixes Telengy use has quite a high rate, when determined from the prefix itself, and not the LRN. I do have better success in terms of forwarding when using prefixes that are cheaper, so it is quite possible Google bases its forwarding strategy on prefix rather on LRN.
Nonetheless, you make a great point about "panic mode," since their site seems to be crafted up in a hurry, and many features and offerings there are just not ready for prime-time. Like you said, it looks like it was made by a startup who doesn't know what they are doing, although I do want to give them credit for having a forum that attempts to "hear its users."
This link in itself is interesting, because it may suggest that there is an issue with calls originating from Bandwidth and terminating at the same CLEC:
https://bandwidth.uservoice.com/knowledgebase/articles/334657-call-forwarding-not-working-via-google-voice
Curious if that means if Google is using LRN after all...  Cheesy


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KCChris
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« Reply #27 on: May 18, 2014, 10:50:12 am »

Sounds like a bait and switch technique to me... although the integration shouldn't require any firmware changes since they currently use SIP for the integration. If you currently use Groove IP, you can even get a number without porting an existing one over... their site does seem to be quite buggy at the moment..
It's not bait and switch. Any Obi bought before May 1 works fine ( although maybe not on GV for long)

Many companies offer incentives for new customers that don't apply to past purchases.  We may not like it but it's not bait and switch.

I agree that it's not technically bait-and-switch, but it doesn't do much for the attitude of your loyal customer base.  It seems silly for me to have to throw away (or try to sell) my perfectly capable and functioning device so Obihai can make a little more money off me.

Now that being said, the Ring.to integration could require some development on their part, and definitely would add value to the device I currently own, so I feel that some sort of one time Right To Use fee charged by Obihai could be a reasonable way to handle current owners.

Apple did something similar back in 2006 (for a different reason) with their iMacs - charging users $3 to get a software update to enable 802.11n wireless.  If Obihai looked at the bottom-line margin contribution each new unit would give them and charged current users a RTU fee similar to that to enable Ring.to I'm betting that they would end up ahead in the deal.  They could even put a "green" spin on it and make some press about how they are enabling new features without sending more electronics to the landfill.

Just my $.02.
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ToddAllen
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Posts: 7


« Reply #28 on: May 18, 2014, 11:27:08 am »

I signed up for Ring.to via my existing paid/registered copy of GrooveIP for an Android phone.  I didn't have to provide any existing account info or credit card #, etc.  It offered a new phone # so I didn't have to port an existing one.  After signing up GrooveIP is working and call quality is good.  My only issue/complaint is I don't see a way to set the outbound caller id.
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swg0101
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Posts: 22


« Reply #29 on: May 18, 2014, 12:01:07 pm »

According to their forums, I believe they are working towards giving users an option to set the caller ID soon. I do see that they do provide you with real early-media unlike GV that only connects you after the remote picks up.
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Echo
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Posts: 13


« Reply #30 on: May 19, 2014, 11:16:52 am »

As I already had Groove IP on my smart phone, I clicked it. It was not a recent version, so only presented a keypad. I dialed a number and after 1 ring it quit and put a message about their joining RingTo and said all I need do is activate the app. That's when I downloaded the new version and it walked me through selecting an area code.

It was my area code and my neighbors can call it locally, but some places would have to pay a toll to call it. No big deal because I asked GV to forward to that number. I verified the 2-digit code and that was that.

Well, except when I call using the app the callee sees my r2 number instead of the GV one, as posted here.
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bb6619
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Posts: 1


« Reply #31 on: May 19, 2014, 02:50:21 pm »

Bandwidth.com is the same company in charge of Republicwireless.com,   So far  I have no complaints for RW So before crying, shouting or throwing a tantrum like others seam to be doing i'll  wait and see.  in the meantime GV-OBI  are still working
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giqcass
Hero Member & Beta Tester
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Posts: 1439


« Reply #32 on: May 20, 2014, 03:56:09 am »

As a Republic Wireless customer I trust Bandwidth.com.  After the trial phase was over and they came out with new wireless plans that cost more money they gave us a 10% discount on our existing lines.  With that discount our bills only raised slightly.  Many switched to the lower tier service and actually pay less.  They also gave us the option to switch plans twice during the month so we can go to a different tier for a short period and then switch back to our normal tier.

 If/when ring.to switches to a paid service I expect the free tier to be pretty generous and I expect the paid tiers to offer some very cool features.  It's kind of laughable calling something bait and switch if they warn you before you sign up.  Particularly when they aren't charging you anything in the first place and you can port out if it does happen.  I plan to be an early adopter on this service.
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yosif
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« Reply #33 on: May 20, 2014, 08:13:22 am »

As a Republic Wireless customer I trust Bandwidth.com.

+1
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ipse
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« Reply #34 on: May 21, 2014, 10:57:48 am »

Ring.to made the same announcement as Obihai...something will happen, it's not clear when and for which users - unless Obihai sticks to their high-horse approach and offers the alternative to new customers only.

https://bandwidth.uservoice.com/knowledgebase/articles/366475-announcement-obihai-users-please-read
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zorlac
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Posts: 203



« Reply #35 on: May 21, 2014, 11:28:51 am »

1. You must have purchased a new Obi device
2. Your must secure 9-1-1 service from an approved Obi provider
3. You must port your number in to RingTo.

Doesn't condition #2 negate "Absolutely FREE Calling"?
This looks like I'd need a second ITSP that will be billing me ~$1.50/mo  Huh
I'm looking forward to how this pans out & what the porting fees will be for an old Verizon POTS #.

Hmmm, from the RT website "Unlike other service providers, we do not charge you to port your number in"

WOW, all this just to check if a # is portable to RT?

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« Last Edit: May 21, 2014, 12:41:00 pm by zorlac » Logged
yosif
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Posts: 15


« Reply #36 on: May 21, 2014, 01:21:12 pm »

Ring.to made the same announcement as Obihai...something will happen, it's not clear when and for which users - unless Obihai sticks to their high-horse approach and offers the alternative to new customers only.

https://bandwidth.uservoice.com/knowledgebase/articles/366475-announcement-obihai-users-please-read

Strange restrictions/qualifications from The RingTo to provide Obihai services:
1. You must have purchased a new Obi device
   - New? By date of purchase? New firmware? New processor?
2. Your must secure 9-1-1 service from an approved Obi provider
   - So far there are no requirements to have 911 on RingTo site.
3. You must port your number in to RingTo. Existing RingTo users with an active phone number will not need to port a number.
   - Then why are they talking about porting? By the way, here is the known issue: https://bandwidth.uservoice.com/knowledgebase/articles/334657-call-forwarding-not-working-via-google-voice. I wonder if RingTo is motivated to fix that at all.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2014, 01:23:57 pm by yosif » Logged
giqcass
Hero Member & Beta Tester
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Posts: 1439


« Reply #37 on: May 22, 2014, 08:47:41 am »

Even though I think they may try to fix it I can't imagine it's high on their list since the service seems to be a Google Voice replacement.  Additionally any extra forwarding between the services would cause the call quality to degrade and introduce new problems.
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yosif
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« Reply #38 on: June 05, 2014, 03:15:44 pm »

By the way, here is the known issue: https://bandwidth.uservoice.com/knowledgebase/articles/334657-call-forwarding-not-working-via-google-voice. I wonder if RingTo is motivated to fix that at all.

Call forwarding via Google Voice to Ring.to to any number is actually working very well. You will have to answer and then dial '1' to connect the incoming call. Thanks to the Groove IP FAQ: http://snrblabs.com/snrb/apps/grooveip/faq.aspx
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HDFLucky
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Posts: 55


« Reply #39 on: June 10, 2014, 10:34:07 am »

Is this still going to happen? The original OBi announcement said "within a few weeks," which has already come and gone, and ring.to is not present in the Approved Service Providers list. The ring.to parent site said, "no later than early June" (which ends today), but that page has been removed (it was there yesterday).
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