OBi's business model?

Started by SteveL, March 17, 2011, 02:05:30 PM

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SteveL

I'm the first to say that my new OBi110 is fabulously cool, but how's this company going to stay in business? What's Obihai Technology's business model? I can't imagine that they are strictly a hardware play?

jimates

Waiting for Google to swallow them up when they get ready to start a full SIP configured voip service.

stevea

Google or other VOIP provider buyout buyout makes some sense, but would they provide the flexibility in future products to select an alternative service provider ?

There have been several barriers to setting up home voip in recent years.  Price: at ~$150 for a single sip phone and $10/mo for a voip service, it could easily be 1.5+ years before you broke even on the  expense.  Technical: sip phone setup is non-trivial, and there is risk that after investing in the hardware that it won't work.   Yes you can buy/build a PIAF server, install a FXO device, implement PIAF and use the existing wires phones, but at ~$300+ for hardware, ~30 watts 24x7 (~$25/yr) and a load of technical landmines & risk of failure and financial loss.

IMO Obihai + Google has broken both price and technical barriers.  The technical setup might be beyond your 80yo granny, but not by much, and the $50+free service for a year is a net savings in a couple months and low risk in case of technical failure. It seems foolish not to try obi/google.

Another risk factor is hardware maintenance.  PIAF servers, sip phones, ISP modems and even obi110s can break.  If the obi or ISP modem fails I can divert GV calls to my cell phone.  If a piaf server fails or the ISP modem dies I think I'll have greater problems and more work ahead.  My goal is to avoid becoming  the phone maintenance guy.  Of course at est $40 for an obi100 - a hot spare is cheap insurance against a dead obi.