Ooma Inc., a smart communications platform for businesses and consumers, 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 require a POTS line – ranging from fire alarm panels to elevator phones, fax machines, public safety phones, building access systems and more – can be migrated to a digital connection quickly and easily.
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 retiring copper-wire infrastructure and shutting off service to customers. Federal Communications Commission 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 challenge for businesses with devices that require an analog phone line and can’t transition directly to digital voice over internet (VoIP) service. Existing solutions for replacing these analog lines are typically expensive, don’t come fully provisioned with wireless connectivity and phone service, and/or don’t always meet safety requirements.
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.
Ooma AirDial is being previewed at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, Booth #1253, through November 4 in Las Vegas, and it is expected to be available in early 2022 in the United States only.
To learn more, visit https://www.ooma.com/airdial.