OBi's business model?

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

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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?


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


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.