Oct 15

New GVGW node added

A new proxy node has been added to the Google Voice Gateway (GVGW) cluster and is starting to appear in the A-record and SRV records. If you permitted specific IPs in your firewall or ACL, please note the addition:

The current list:

$ dig +short gvgw.simonics.com. a
Aug 21

Caller ID format

Google Voice Gateway was previously stripping the + symbol but leaving the leading 1 on caller ID sent for US/Canada calls. This was non-standard behavior and has been fixed.

Incoming calls from US/Canada will show a ten-digit “national format” caller ID, with name (CNAM) if available.

Incoming calls from other locations will show a full-format caller ID including the + symbol and country code. Name information is not available for international calls.

May 11

New Gateway feature: two-way SIP authentication

Starting today, the Google Voice Gateway is able to send SIP calls to your PBX with authentication. If the gateway receives a SIP 401 Unauthorized challenge to an INVITE, it will authenticate using the same username and password your equipment used to register.

This update allows those who are connecting to the Google Voice Gateway with a PBX to tighten their security, allowing calls only from known sources identified by IP address or authentication.

The new feature may be especially of interest to Asterisk users who have had to “allowguest=yes” and handle incoming GVGW calls as if they were anonymous due to Asterisk not being able to properly match peers using SRV or round-robin A records.

In short, to make use of this with Asterisk, set “allowguest=no” and “match_auth_username=yes” in sip.conf, then define your GVGW SIP peer as “type=friend” with the section name matching your GVGW account name. A more detailed tutorial will be available soon in the knowledge base.

Apr 19

Try Digital Ocean for your virtual server needs

I have several providers in my virtual hosting toolbox. One of my new favorites is Digital Ocean, a virtual server hosting company that uses KVM as their virtualization platform and has some great cloud-like features such as snapshotting and deployment from snapshot.

Digital Ocean is my pick for low-latency, high-throughput network and disk (SSD) I/O at a very good price. With VoIP applications, network quality is among the most important concerns. You get a public IPv4 and IPv6 address standard, so there’s no NAT to work around.

Use this link for $10 credit on Digital Ocean and add them to your own virtual hosting toolbox.

Apr 17

GVGW issues today

We are seeing a significant number of disconnects affecting GVGW users today and are actively investigating the problem.

Thank you for your patience.

UPDATE: I will be upgrading some infrastructure on Saturday early morning (midnight+) to resolve issues seen today. Expect brief outages during the Saturday early morning hours.

Maintenance to the databases was completed and gateways working at 2:00am.

Apr 07

Google Voice Gateway returns

A new Google Voice Gateway is available, now with new and improved features and a secure, token-based (OAUTH2) login system. See /services for a list of the features. This “reboot” is the result of months of research and work and comes with a small connection fee. Users of our previous Google Voice Gateway project know the level of quality to expect. I will be filling out the documentation more in the next few days; keep an eye on the Forums/Support tab where you’ll find a new Knowledge Base and a refreshed forum.

Feb 03

Google Voice Gateway service ending May 2014

As of February 1, 2014, no new registrations are being accepted for the Google Voice Gateway. If you have registered already, you can use the GVGW form to get your SIP registration credentials or delete your gateway registration.

The Google Voice Gateway service will be discontinued on May 15, 2014, due to policy and technology changes being implemented by Google. Please see this blog posting for more details and the SIP Providers forum to discuss SIP provider alternatives. Thank you for your support in helping to make this service excellent since November 2011.

Feb 03

Fax by E-mail service ending May 2014

Dear Fax by E-mail customers,

Due to changes in policy and technology announced by Google late last year, I regret to announce that Simon Telephonics Fax by E-mail service will end on May 15, 2014. Details on these changes are summarized at this blog post.

It has been a pleasure doing business with you, and I wish we could continue to offer a competitive, full-featured fax service.

I would like to recommend two high-value, low-cost online fax services to which you might consider transferring your fax lines:

  • Obivoice (obivoice.com) offers fax by e-mail (incoming) and web fax (outgoing) featuring the same formats you use today on our service. You can port your Google Voice line or utilize Google Voice’s forwarding feature to send your fax calls to a new line you purchase from Obivoice. Obivoice’s prices are competitive at $25/year for moderate fax usage. Please see Obivoice Lite Plans for moderate usage pricing plans; Faxing with Obivoice for details on the fax service.
  • Vitelity’s vFax service (vFax information) offers all the same features at a monthly cost of $2.99; you pay per minute for faxes sent and received. With Vitelity, you will need to port your Google Voice line.

Information on porting your number out of Google Voice to another provider can be found here.

Once transitioned, be sure to cancel your PayPal subscription to Fax by E-mail using the PayPal web site or by logging in at simonics.com/members and clicking the Unsubscribe button at the bottom of the page. Any subscriptions remaining on May 15, 2014, will be canceled at that time.

Again, thank you for your business. It has been a pleasure serving you.

Bill Simon
Simon Telephonics

Nov 10

Google Voice update

To all Google Voice Gateway users and Google Voice Fax by E-mail customers:

Recently, Google representative Nikhyl Singhal posted “An update on Google Voice” on his Google+ page.  Here he mentions some changes to Google Voice that are likely to affect our Google Voice Gateway and Google Voice Fax by E-mail enhancement services.

Specifically, he writes about disconnecting third-party applications that use Google Voice to provide  calling services.

A blog posting at Obihai Technology provides further insight: Google will be ending support for Voice signaling over XMPP. This is the technology that Google Voice Gateway and Fax by E-mail use to connect to Google Voice.

The end date is set for May 15, 2014 — just over six months from today.

What does this mean to you?

Unless Google provides an alternate method for interconnection with Google Voice, such as through a Hangouts API, we will no longer be able to provide Google Voice gateway and fax services as of May 15, 2014. The wording of Mr. Singhal’s message seems to indicate that third parties will not be welcome to interconnect with Google Voice. Options may be limited to using Google’s provided software only.

On a positive note, if you are an Apple iOS user, the Google Hangouts app currently allows VoIP calling through Google Voice.

We suggest that Google Voice Gateway and Fax by E-mail users plan for the worst and begin to investigate other options. Simon Telephonics is looking into low-cost ways to provide SIP-based voice and fax services when Google Voice connectivity comes to an end. Further details about that will be posted here.

Thank you for your understanding.