THIS IMPORTANT SERVICE CLOSURE ANNOUNCEMENT IS BEING SENT TO ALL USERS OF SIMON TELEPHONICS GOOGLE VOICE GATEWAY.
You may have read that in late April, Google announced that they will be discontinuing XMPP Interop with Google Voice. See our news posting at <https://simonics.com/2018/05/future-of-google-voice-gateway/>. Since that time, we have worked on an updated Google Voice Gateway implementation that would allow us to connect to Google using their new SIP-based protocol. From late May to mid-June, we ran a beta test of this new software to find bugs and determined that it would be suitable for production.
On Sunday, June 24, we attempted to put the new software into production. A serious problem was uncovered at this point related to the large number of accounts we are registering to Google Voice. On Tuesday, the system was rolled back and we studied the problem. Unfortunately, what we found was a very large increase of computing resources needed in order to support the new platform at production scale. We attempted some optimizations, but the problems are fundamental to the VoIP engine, and the resource requirements to run the new platform are not sustainable.
With regrets, I am announcing the discontinuation of Google Voice Gateway at the time when Google fully discontinues their XMPP interop. This was slated to begin on June 18, so we expect that the remaining time is short–perhaps another week. Thank you to all of you who have supported this service over its 6+ year history.
Accounts should be working at this time using the Google Chat (XMPP) connections. If you are not receiving calls, please see the post by me on this forum thread: <http://support.simonics.com/support/discussions/topics/3000170148/page/3>.
Users looking to continue service with Google Voice using regular phones should consider the Obihai 2xx, 10xx, and 2xxx series phones, or use the new Google Voice app for Android (wi-fi calling).
Again, thank you for a good run with the Google Voice Gateway.
We are attempting to restore the old XMPP-based servers for a temporary continuation of service.
Conversion of GVGW to the GV/SIP protocol began today. In spite of a very successful beta test, significant problems appeared upon conversion of the production servers, related to the volume of users. At this point I am still working through the issues. Expect some downtime. Thanks for your patience.
Beta testers have helped us to find and solve bugs in the new system. There are still a few that remain and those are being worked on.
We anticipate that Google will stop the XMPP-Google Voice connection this Monday, June 18. If that happens, existing Google Voice Gateway cloud servers will be replaced with new servers running the new code.
IP addresses should not change and there should be no major changes needed on user equipment. Your “Google Chat” entry in Google Voice settings will go away and you will instead see an encoded SIP URI that represents Google Voice Gateway.
The new GV connection allows G.711µ and Opus codecs. GSM is no longer supported. If you experience problems placing or receiving calls please be sure that you have G.711µ enabled, and optionally, Opus (if available). Also, if your device specifies a packetization time, be sure it is set to the standard value of 20 ms. (Some Cisco/Linksys devices default to 30.)
Please expect the possibility of disruptions and be patient. Please DO NOT E-MAIL. If you have lingering problems after the conversion process is complete (announced here), please post in the forum at support.simonics.com.
If everything goes well over the next week we will re-open sign-ups for new users.
Google Voice representatives have published a note stating that XMPP connectivity to Google Voice — the method we are currently using — will be shut down on June 18. Read the short announcement here.
We are beta testing an updated Google Voice Gateway that will work with Google Voice’s new SIP interop. After testing, if successful, this update will be rolled out to all GVGW users without any intervention necessary, on or before June 18.
Besides allowing us to continue service beyond the XMPP shutdown date, this should alleviate some of the connectivity problems a number of users have reported.
There is the chance that the beta test will bring to light a show-stopping issue. If we are not able to use the new SIP interop with Google Voice, the gateway service will not be able to continue beyond June 18.
Further updates will be posted here as we continue testing and planning.
Google recently announced a beta test of a Google Voice Wi-Fi Calling feature: https://support.google.com/voice/forum/AAAAjq5-_rMaI7m1PrV21Y/?hl=en
The announcement notes that this feature disables compability with Obihai devices. Please note that it also disables compatibility with GVGW. It appears that enabling the Wi-Fi calling feature as described in this Google support article will permanently disable your ability to use that Google Voice account with GVGW. If this changes or any workaround becomes available, this post will be updated with new information.
I am setting the minimum accepted registration expiration on GVGW to 120 seconds as a trial. The gateway’s default minimum of 60 seconds had been in place since launch.
It is recommended that users set their minimum value to at least 120 seconds. UAs attempting to register with a shorter interval will get a SIP 423 “Interval too brief” response and are expected to send another registration that conforms to the server’s minimum.
This is standard SIP but not every UA implements the standard correctly. Also there could be some misconfigurations where users have set a maximum interval lower than 120 which would prevent them from registering.
A 60-second registration timer causes the client to refresh at 30 seconds, which is grossly excessive considering that the majority of devices doing this haven’t changed their IP addresses in weeks or longer. Even as a keep-alive mechanism, a 30 second refresh is unnecessary. UAs needing NAT keepalive should use the appropriate option and not abuse SIP REGISTER for that purpose.
Two more proxies were added to the GVGW cluster. Setting strict ACLs is not recommended due to the nature of our cloud-based service. Nonetheless, here are the new IPs for your reference:
18.104.22.168 has been added to the Google Voice Gateway proxy list.
$ dig @22.214.171.124 +short gvgw.simonics.com. a
To handle recent growth, a new GVGW node has been added: 126.96.36.199.
If you are using strict firewall or ACL rules, be sure to update your configuration for this new proxy.