New VOIP startup Ooma, which is proving a free phone service to U.S. residents who purchase the basic hardware, started taking pre-orders about five minutes ago (6 AM PST). Orders are being taken by phone only, with delivery guaranteed before September 10. The phone number to call is 866-452-6662.
The basic unit, called a “hub,” is $399. Additional “scouts” which you can plug into the various phone jacks in our house cost $40 each. Sales tax is being collected on top of that for California deliveries. Once you've purchased the hardware, all calls to U.S. numbers are free. International calls are at Skype-like prices.
I don't expect to see millions of people calling to buy an Ooma today. But for the early adopter crowd, this may be something they want to try out. I've been testing it for a few weeks and the call quality is good.