VoIP lets you use your phone over the Internet, cutting out the local phone company. This drastically reduces your monthly phone bill. In some cases, it's reduced to zero. International calls are usually just a few pennies. To get started using VoIP with your phone, you need an adapter. In this article, we'll look at one called OBI VoIP.
Who Is OBI?
OBI, or Obihai, makes two VoIP adapters - one for personal use and the other for business use. The personal adapter is called the OBi200 VoIP phone adapter. You can connect one phone to it. The adapter allows you to make a phone call or send and receive T.38 faxes but not at the same time.
The business adapter provides for better expansion and higher voice quality. It is called the OBi202. You can call and fax at the same time with this adapter. It also allows for two phones. This adapter increases voice quality through QoS, the same feature found in dedicated VoIP routers. QoS stands for Quality of Service and prioritizes voice data.
The adapter is a small box that requires constant power to work. A power adapter is included. There isn't a battery backup built into the adapter. To keep it going during a power failure, it will need to be on a battery backup.
How Does OBI VoIP Work?
OBI doesn't require a computer to work. With some adapters, they need to be plugged into a computer. Since the OBI supports a handset, there's no need to use the computer. A computer gets involved if a softphone (software phone) is being used.
The OBI does have a softphone available as an option. It is called the OBiON. There are two versions available:
- One for the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Android. This is a mobile app that lets you make OBI endpoint-to-endpoint calls.
- There is also a version of OBiON that can be installed on PCs, allowing you to make VoIP calls from your computer.
To get the OBI adapter up and running, connect your telephone to the OBI. Then connect the OBI to your network router. There is a USB port on the OBI. If you want to use WiFi, you can buy an OBI WiFi adapter that plugs into the USB port. Once everything is connected, and the OBI is powered up, you can configure it through OBI's cloud-based service.
OBI also supports SIP devices. SIP stands for Session Initiated Protocol and is widely used with VoIP. A SIP device is an all-digital phone. Meaning, it doesn't use traditional phone services. This keeps the voice data signal completely digital. When traditional phone service is used, the signal must be converted from digital to analog so it can travel across the phone lines then back to digital.
Does It Work With Unified Communications Services?
A VoIP adapter such as the OBI can be used only with a supported VoIP provider. A unified communications (UC) service provider includes the necessary services for VoIP. To use the OBI with the UC service provider, they will need to be one of the four other compatible VoIP services.
OBI VoIP is really three different things:
- An adapter for using a standalone handset.
- A mobile softphone app.
- A PC-based softphone app.
There are many ways that your business can use OBI VoIP to help adapt your company to a variety of equipment.
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