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VoIP Service Ooma Gets New Features

The phone service will be pushing out a system-wide upgrade for premier users that includes call forwarding, virtual numbers, community blacklists, and the ability to e-mail voice mails.

The VoIP service Ooma is getting some new features and enhancements.

Ooma is a year-old company that sells hardware which enables customers to make phone calls over the Internet using the owner's broadband connection. It uses peer-to-peer technologies to route calls, and unlike other VoIP service from Vonage and cable companies, customers do not have to pay additional monthly fees for unlimited domestic services in the United States.

The company does offer a premier service option for $12.99 a month, and because the hardware runs a Linux operating system, Ooma is capable of pushing out system-wide upgrades.

The latest upgrades for premier users allow customers to add up to nine virtual phone numbers for their homes. This could be used for a dedicated office line or to give each family member their own number, Ooma said.

Customers will also have the option to have Ooma send a copy of voice mails to their e-mail's inbox as an audio attachment. A user can also integrate their cell phone with the VoIP service, as users can configure their system to simultaneously ring or forward to a mobile handset. Voice-mail notifications can also be sent to cell phones via text message.

The upgrade will also include the ability to set up private voice mails, call logs, and community blacklists to block unwanted callers.

"We are excited to unveil new, system-wide updates that continue to expand on the Ooma promise of providing a better way to experience home telephone service," said Andrew Frame, Ooma's CEO, in a statement.

With many customers looking at uncertain economic times, Ooma told InformationWeek the initial cost of the hardware definitely may make some hesitant to switch services. But Ooma said the long-term savings of using the VoIP service makes the company a good option for customers while they weather the economic downturn.

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