Ooma rings in new year with Telo VoIP system

Ooma has announced a new no-cost VoIP phone system that includes a DECT 6.0 handset and an expansion option for up to six handsets to cover all the rooms in your house.

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Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Kobo e-books and audiobooks.
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David Carnoy
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The Ooma Telo doesn't have a price tag yet. Ooma

When I met with Ooma representatives last month, I got a sneak peek at its next-generation phone system, the Telo, which combines DECT 6.0 cordless-phone technology with Internet-based (VoIP) calling. Well, Ooma officially unveiled the Telo at CES, and while no price has been announced, the it will arrive sometime in the first half of 2009, according to the company.

Ooma's claim to fame is that it currently sells a VoIP phone system that lets you make free domestic U.S. calls and low-priced international calls. (In Amazon's database, the product is in fact called the Ooma Core VoIP Phone System with No Monthly Phone Service Bills). However, that system doesn't include any handsets, while the new Telo does--and you can expand the system to up to six handsets. (You can also connect a standard phone line if you so choose).

The Telo improves upon the feature set of the original system, as well as the call quality. Ooma representatives are highlighting how you can have calls from your cell phone redirected to the Telo.

Rich Buchanan, Ooma's Chief Executive Officer, says, "Simply put, Telo sounds better, connects better, and works better than any traditional phone or VoIP service available today. Telo represents the necessary evolution of communication in the home and helps combine the home phone and cell phone so you can enjoy the benefits of both without any compromises."

We look forward to trying this one out when it arrives later this year. In the meantime, we just got the original Ooma system in house and will be testing it after CES.