Ooma Introduces a Simple Solution for POTS Replacement that Combines Phone Service, T-Mobile Connectivity and Hardware
Ooma, Inc., a smart communications platform for businesses and consumers, today introduced Ooma AirDial, a simple solution for business intended to address the looming retirement of legacy copper-wire analog phone service, also known as plain old telephone service or POTS.
Ooma AirDial (https://www.ooma.com/airdial/) will combine phone service, a T-Mobile data connection and hardware in a single package that’s easy to install and manage. Safety and business-critical systems that today require a POTS line – ranging from fire alarm panels to elevator phones, fax machines, public safety phones, building access systems and more – can be quickly and easily migrated to a digital connection. Because Ooma AirDial will maintain a managed voice channel that doesn’t touch the public internet, the solution is expected to meet regulatory requirements such as NFPA 72 and UL 864 for life-safety systems.
Providers of POTS lines are rapidly retiring copper-wire infrastructure and shutting off service to customers. FCC data shows the number of POTS lines in the United States declined from 122 million in 2010 to 41 million in 2019 and industry analysts expect POTS lines could disappear completely within five years. At the same time, service rates are going up dramatically as providers are forced to support their remaining POTS infrastructure from a smaller pool of customers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has tracked a 36 percent increase in POTS rates from 2010 to 2021, even as mobile phone rates have gone down.
This situation creates a growing challenge for businesses with devices that require an analog phone line and therefore can’t transition directly to digital voice over internet (VoIP) service. Existing solutions for replacing these analog lines – commonly known as “POTS in a box” – are typically expensive, don’t come fully provisioned with wireless connectivity and phone service, and/or don’t always meet safety requirements.
“Many businesses are facing a squeeze as telephone companies move away from POTS,” said Jason Blackwell, research director for SMB telecom at IDC. “POTS lines are becoming significantly more expensive, even as reliability declines, with more shutdowns on the horizon. Yet the cost of replacing legacy devices that rely on a POTS connection can be prohibitive. Innovative new technologies such as Ooma AirDial are essential to resolving this dilemma.”
Ooma AirDial is designed to serve as a POTS replacement that is powerful and flexible, with features that will include:
- Up to four analog connections with standard dial tone and full backwards compatibility with POTS
- Options for either an exclusively wireless connection or failover from a wired broadband connection to wireless
- Backup battery that will maintain service for eight hours or more during an outage
- LCD display that shows wireless signal strength, battery status and phone line status
- Remote management across multiple locations through an online portal, with the option to set automated alerts for events such as outages and batteries that need replacement
- Heat sink and ventilation for fan-less cooling
- Support for external antennas for installations where the AirDial unit isn’t near the exterior of a building
- Number porting
- Mounting that can be either vertical (wall) or horizontal (table)
Ooma expects its channel partners will be a primary path to market for Ooma AirDial, giving them a new way to help their end customers transition from POTS lines while reducing monthly phone costs.
“In an era of post-merger growth at T-Mobile Wholesale, we are excited about the solutions that we are creating for our customers. The launch of Ooma AirDial with T-Mobile network connectivity offers our customers a simple solution to a basic problem,” said Dan Thygesen, senior vice president of T-Mobile Wholesale. “With millions of U.S. POTS lines being decommissioned in the coming years, customers need a post-POTS path that is user-friendly and cost-effective. For our Wholesale customers in this situation, Ooma AirDial meets that need – their devices that rely on an analog phone connection can now easily transition to a modern wireless solution that offers a compelling return on investment.”
“We discovered the need for Ooma AirDial by listening to our customers, who told us that – beyond our Ooma Office and Ooma Enterprise VoIP services – they had an urgent need for POTS replacement,” said Chris Burgy, vice president of corporate development at Ooma. “Tapping into Ooma’s long history of designing affordable and simple hardware and software, we built Ooma AirDial to provide a solution to our customers who are frustrated with the POTS replacement offerings on the market today.”
Ooma AirDial will be previewed at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, Booth #1253, on Nov. 1 to 4 and is expected to be available in early 2022 in the United States only. To learn more, please visit https://www.ooma.com/airdial/.
About Ooma, Inc.
Ooma (NYSE: OOMA) creates powerful connected experiences for businesses and consumers, delivered from its smart cloud-based SaaS platform. For businesses of all sizes, Ooma provides advanced voice and collaboration features including messaging, intelligent virtual attendants, and video conferencing to help them run more efficiently. For consumers, Ooma’s residential phone service provides PureVoice HD voice quality, advanced functionality and integration with mobile devices. Learn more at www.ooma.com or www.ooma.ca in Canada.