A Peek at Upcoming OBi Residential and Business VoIP Adaptor Hints at Powerful Features

If you visit Obihai Technology’s website (http://obihai.com) and have a quick eye, you’ll catch a glimpse of the company’s next hardware release. And if you think the OBi110 and OBi100 analog telephone adaptors are helping to redefine the consumer VoIP space, then you will not be disappointed by the OBi202.

According to one of four graphic boxes that swipe horizontally and quickly across the top of company’s web front page, here’s a bit of what Obihai claims for the OBi202:

  • Zero-touch mass-provisioning with iron-clad security;
  • Game-changing management and troubleshooting tools;
  • Customized configuration language, localization;
  • Extremely versatile for residential and business services;
  • Built to scale to millions of managed endpoints;
  • Volume-based discounted pricing.

OBi202 rear view

A look at the illustration of the back side of the OBi202 reveals more: 2 phone ports (the OBi110/100 have one), a USB port (none on the current OBis), two Ethernet ports (one on each of the current models), and a power input.

The two RJ11 phone ports will allow two separate analog telephones to be connected to the device. Each can be on a a separate phone call, or shared in a conference call. The unique set-up allows the use of a two-line DECT phone (offered by Panasonic, Uniden and others), with handsets distributed around a household, each with access to all the service provider accounts installed on the OBi. Current OBi models allow the storage of two accounts, which can be either SIP, as used by most VoIP providers today, or one or two Google Talk accounts.

The two ethernet ports indicate that the OBi202 will be Obihai’s first device sporting a router, an important factor for consumer VoIP service providers who look to provide a complete networking/telephony offering to their customers. Unlike other VoIP adaptor/router combinations on the market (Cisco’s SPA series and Grandstream are among the most common), the OBi202 supports “Wire-Speed”, meaning the device, theoretically, will not act as a bandwidth bottleneck between the in connecting a LAN (internal network) to the WAN (external network).

A big complaint about the Cisco and Grandstream routers contained on VoIP adaptors is that they throttle bandwidth significantly, in some case up to 80 percent.

The two ethernet ports can also be set up as a bridge, allowing data passthrough to another network device, like a desktop computer or networked printer.

The company is not disclosing what the eventual functionality of the USB port will be, saying it is “reserved for future use”.

Although not listed on the Obihai site, the OBi202 is expected to have a more powerful processor and more memory then the OBi110/100 and, unlike the two is expected to support the T.38 standard for real-time faxing capability.

No release date for the device has been set, but it is expected on the market in early 2012, with a street price of around $75.

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