UPDATE: Since the crisis continues, Ooma has now extended this offer and all Ooma customers will have free calling to Japan until Mar. 25 at 4PM Pacific
Ooma provides clear communications 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But getting clear communications perhaps is never more important than during a crisis. Ooma realizes this in light of the most recent devastation in Japan, and is helping its users trying to reach those who may have been affected by the earthquake and tsunami.
Ooma is offering free international calls to Japan on its service until Friday, March 18, at 4 p.m.
Company officials said they want users to know about and use the free service and has posted announcements via Facebook (News - Alert) and Twitter.
In the Facebook announcement, Ooma says that the company “wants to help” users connect “with friends and loved ones” through free calling to Japan.
Many people from all over the world are trying to call Japan to check on the well-being of relatives, friends and co-workers. The death toll is mounting, and many people have been reported missing as a result of the massive earthquake and tsunami. The estimated damage could exceed tens of billions of dollars.
Given the interest in contacting Japan, “all international lines to Japan are very congested right now, but keep trying,” Ooma advised.
TMCnet reports that traditional phone service in Japan was seriously impacted in much of Japan. In addition, mobile carriers in Japan were limiting voice calls on Japanese networks. NTT DoCoMo limited up to 80 percent of the voice calls in Tokyo and elsewhere in the nation, The Telegraph reported. Softbank (News - Alert) and Au were also impacted by the earthquake, according to the Telegraph.
Whether it is during an emergency or for the more routine calling times, Ooma offers HD Voice, a component of Ooma’s PureVoice HD technology. It features twice the fidelity of standard phone calls, according to a report on TMCnet. That provides a richer, more natural sounding conversation between Ooma users, the company said.
Ooma customers have been able to make HD calls from home since October 2010. In January 2011, Ooma started offering HD support on the Ooma mobile app. This allows the service to be available on varied mobile devices.
Ed Silverstein is a TMCnet contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Tammy Wolf