Using Ooma Overseas To Save On Long Distance Calls

As long time readers now, I love my money saving Ooma VOIP telephone. I purchased the 1st generation back in 2008 and have was grandfathered in with the no cost plan. I estimate I have conservatively saved ($20/mo x 54 months - $210 [ initial HW cost] = ) ~ $870 in cost avoidance for a landline over the past 4 1/2 years.

While Ooma no longer offers the original Ooma, their current product, the Ooma Telo, which only charges the federal taxes for a phone line is still a great money saving product for those that use a landline.

When we decided to go to China on assignment I was curious if my Ooma would work overseas. It had 2 big potential advantages:

  1. Cost avoidance for a local telephone line in China, and
  2. Avoid long distance call charges from China to the US.

So we packed our Ooma along with our other supplies and hoped for the best. The biggest obstacle I found was I needed a new power adapter for the higher voltage in China (220v). The supplied Ooma power adapter is a 12v, 1000mA 5.5mm x 2.5mm pin power supply that only runs on 110v. It took a couple weeks, but a co-worker was able to help me track down a 110v-240v input power adapter with the same output/pin size.

Once I had the power adapter I plugged in my Ooma box and connected it to my China Telecom Internet Modem, I plugged in a telephone and within a couple mins I had a dial tone! Friends and family are able to reach us from the US by dialing our US home telephone number and antectedotally our call quality has appeared to be the same as it was back in the US. Its been a great tool to help us be better connected to our friends and family back home (besides Skype ofcourse).

The only tip I have for someone attempting to take their Ooma overseas, is if you need a new power adapter like I did see if you can get it before you go. I later discovered I could have easily ordered an inexpensive one off of Ebay before I left. It would be once less hassle to worry about when your making a move.

As an existing user, I have a refer-a-friend promotion right now where you can get an Ooma Telo for $99.99 + free shipping using my referral code XIN8036.

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Comments (1)

I use OBiTalk which works with Google Voice to do the same thing absolutely free after you buy the device. It works great with a regular cordless phone and the sound quality is SO much better than a cell phone. There are no monthly charges and the OBiTalk device is under $40 bucks... can't beat that! Might be another good option for your readers.

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