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.
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.
Google Voice Gateway users: If you are connecting to gateway gvgw3, 4, 5, 6, or 7, the IP address for your gateway has changed.
DNS entries were updated on Wednesday, so any new connections to these gateways will use the new IP addresses. If you are connecting with a PBX, IP phone, or other device/software that stays online continually, you may need to reload or restart your device for it to get the new IP from DNS.
Both the old IPs (starting with 64 or 216) and the new IPs (starting with 185) will be active until September 30. After that time, the old IP addresses will cease to work. Therefore, it is important that you reload or restart your SIP client before that time to avoid a disruption.
(If you have directly entered the IP address of a gateway into your SIP client’s configuration for some reason, you will need to look up your assigned gateway in DNS and reconfigure with the new IP address.)
Outbound calling on gateway GVGW4 is currently hit-or-miss, apparently due to someone flooding calls to Google Voice. That has been fixed and outbound calling should return soon.
Google Voice Gateway donors can select the GSM codec on their devices for significantly lower bandwidth usage at cellular voice quality.
Standard PCMU/G.711u codec
Lower bandwidth usage with GSM codec
The low-bandwidth codec and SIP TCP transport make the Google Voice Gateway a lean, battery-saving option for mobile VoIP.
Between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, 12 June 2013, gvgw1 and gvgw2 will be offline at various times for a code upgrade and feature sync. After this upgrade, these two gateways will match the others, including features mentioned in the following posts:
Please note: If you have been using gvgw1 or gvgw2 for outbound calling only, without SIP registration, you will no longer be able to do so by default. Please open a support ticket if you wish to do this.
In addition to this work, a new feature will be released for all Google Voice Gateways. By popular request, I am enabling a low-bandwidth codec, GSM-FR (typically called simply “GSM”), available to project donors. To use the codec, simply force GSM as the only codec by enabling it and disabling all others in your SIP device/software.
To donate and have this feature available, please visit the Donate page and include your Google Voice number in the text field of the PayPal form.
The popular Google Voice Gateway is donation-supported; your donations cover the costs of hosting, caller-ID service, and ongoing development of the project. At random, you may hear a pleasant voice between the first and second ring of your outgoing call reminding you to “please donate today.” This recording is not delaying your call; it’s being played while the line is ringing. And if the called party picks up before or during the recording, the call will be connected without any delay, as usual.
If you have donated and don’t want to be reminded at random to donate again, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your GV number and your request to turn off the donation reminders.
New donors: The PayPal donation form now includes an optional field where you can enter your GV number. Do so and the reminders will be turned off for you, also.