Google Voice is now Officially Supported on OBi VoIP devices

Started by Taoman, September 11, 2014, 09:22:16 AM

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ramjet73

Quote from: LeoKing on September 11, 2014, 07:00:18 PM
I've never had a problem with the CID info passed through GV to TMo, AT&T, Sprint & Verizon either. Those are the mobile carriers my family members are using.
Yes, as mentioned previously, it seems to be a problem with the ITSP (VoIP) providers and not the cellular carriers. IMO it would be of mutual benefit to those providers and Google (as well as their users) to establish direct connections for call forwarding, but there may be some regulatory or business reason(s) why that hasn't happened yet.

Taoman

Quote from: giqcass on September 11, 2014, 06:22:55 PM

Are you receiving Caller ID on your Obi connected handsets without using and extra service like Callcentric?

If you're asking about CNAM then no, that's still not available. Callcentric is the only way I know to get that short of a PBX.

ramjet73

Quote from: Taoman on September 11, 2014, 07:07:48 PM
Quote from: giqcass on September 11, 2014, 06:22:55 PM
Are you receiving Caller ID on your Obi connected handsets without using and extra service like Callcentric?
If you're asking about CNAM then no, that's still not available. Callcentric is the only way I know to get that short of a PBX.
And the CNAM information won't be reliable from the ITSP if the CID is not transferred correctly from GV. I believe we are still talking about the interface between Google Voice and an Obihai device, even if it comes via an ITSP.

Also, voip.ms supports CNAM lookup for incoming calls, and IIRC does that without an additional charge.

Correction: voip.ms now charges 0.8 cents per CNAM lookup for incoming calls, but it's an option that can be set on/off per DID.

SteveInWA

Quote from: ramjet73 on September 11, 2014, 07:13:08 PM
Quote from: Taoman on September 11, 2014, 07:07:48 PM
Quote from: giqcass on September 11, 2014, 06:22:55 PM
Are you receiving Caller ID on your Obi connected handsets without using and extra service like Callcentric?
If you're asking about CNAM then no, that's still not available. Callcentric is the only way I know to get that short of a PBX.
And the CNAM information won't be reliable from the ITSP if the CID is not transferred correctly from GV. I believe we are still talking about the interface between Google Voice and an Obihai device, even if it comes via an ITSP.

Also, voip.ms supports CNAM lookup for incoming calls, and IIRC does that without an additional charge.

Correction: voip.ms now charges 0.8 cents per CNAM lookup for incoming calls, but it's an option that can be set on/off per DID.

If you care about or need CNAM, I suggest using a Callcentric DID number as your GV forwarding destination.  It isn't perfect, and they send a lot of not-so-helpful "Los Angeles, CA" results for example, but it does work.

ramjet73

Quote from: SteveInWA on September 11, 2014, 09:31:07 PM
If you care about or need CNAM, I suggest using a Callcentric DID number as your GV forwarding destination.  It isn't perfect, and they send a lot of not-so-helpful "Los Angeles, CA" results for example, but it does work.
If found this FAQ about CNAM on the Callcentric website and apparently they only officially support the inbound look-up for their paid services. I mention that because I know that many Callcentric users take advantage of the free DID with free inbound calls service.

My understanding is that the CNAM information can optionally be passed from the source, in which case they would pass that through as is, or else will do a look-up in a local phone book that is maintained by the user, and if not found there will do an external database look-up. The city and state/province of the area code and prefix is the final result if the phone number in the caller ID is not found by the external database search.

However, my experience with Callcentric is that if they don't get a valid CID from Google Voice then "Private caller" gets displayed.

Since a CNAM lookup to the external databases costs the provider it's not unreasonable for them to charge a fee for the service or bundle it with their paid services.  

McKayCR

Question...  I have Obi100 with GV, I never stopped using it.  I noticed that I still can send and receive phone calls even after it was supposed to not work.  Now the officially supported message comes out with a tutorial on how to use it.  This tutorial talks about creating an account with Obihai and managing your device through their portal.

Is this truly necessary under the new "officially supported" continuation of service?  I'm thinking the answer is no since my system seems to still be up based on my original configs.

My assumption is that the portal is just an aide for the less tech savvy folks, and that it is not really required.  Just looking for confirmation on that.

By the way, I had Ooma before I found Obi100, and Ooma is by far less superior in service and quality.  I'm hooked on Obihai.

SteveInWA

Quote from: ramjet73 on September 11, 2014, 09:59:21 PM
Quote from: SteveInWA on September 11, 2014, 09:31:07 PM
If you care about or need CNAM, I suggest using a Callcentric DID number as your GV forwarding destination.  It isn't perfect, and they send a lot of not-so-helpful "Los Angeles, CA" results for example, but it does work.
If found this FAQ about CNAM on the Callcentric website and apparently they only officially support the inbound look-up for their paid services. I mention that because I know that many Callcentric users take advantage of the free DID with free inbound calls service.

That's interesting, because I have two paid CC DIDs and a free NY State DID.  Until the past couple of weeks ago the free DID, which is my GV forwarding number, was passing CNAM just fine.  It has occasionally been sending "UNKNOWN" recently, but I haven't taken the time to do a definitive test.  I just now called it directly (not through GV) and it did send CNAM.  Perhaps they changed their policy recently (and maybe just "grandfathered in" my old number).  As Archie Bunker used to say, I am not going to "slug a gift horse in the mouth."

Limiting it to their paid DIDs seems reasonable to me (as you pointed out, there's a cost to providing CNAM).  In any case, a paid CC DID is so cheap, if CNAM is important to the user, then it's a good option.

SteveInWA

Quote from: McKayCR on September 11, 2014, 10:11:27 PM
Question...  I have Obi100 with GV, I never stopped using it.  I noticed that I still can send and receive phone calls even after it was supposed to not work.  Now the officially supported message comes out with a tutorial on how to use it.  This tutorial talks about creating an account with Obihai and managing your device through their portal.

Is this truly necessary under the new "officially supported" continuation of service?  I'm thinking the answer is no since my system seems to still be up based on my original configs.

My assumption is that the portal is just an aide for the less tech savvy folks, and that it is not really required.  Just looking for confirmation on that.

By the way, I had Ooma before I found Obi100, and Ooma is by far less superior in service and quality.  I'm hooked on Obihai.

Yes, you need to do the GV configuration via the portal.  The portal is involved in the Google OAUTH secure token exchange process.  There are some threads from a couple weeks ago about how to back up and restore your device's local configuration if you wish to continue using the local web browser GUI for other tasks.

ramjet73

Quote from: SteveInWA on September 11, 2014, 10:17:01 PM
That's interesting, because I have two paid CC DIDs and a free NY State DID.  Until the past couple of weeks ago the free DID, which is my GV forwarding number, was passing CNAM just fine.  It has occasionally been sending "UNKNOWN" recently, but I haven't taken the time to do a definitive test.  I just now called it directly (not through GV) and it did send CNAM.  Perhaps they changed their policy recently (and maybe just "grandfathered in" my old number).  As Archie Bunker used to say, I am not going to "slug a gift horse in the mouth."
I'm not sure when "UNKNOWN" is displayed but here is the explanation I got from a Callcentric tech about why I am getting "Private caller" (asterisks represent numbers masked for security reasons):
Quote

To further clarify the initial questions, Telecom Providers use multiple Underlying Carriers to complete the calls. These Underlying Carriers are the direct Interconnects. Although Google isn't exactly a true Telecom Provider, they use Underlying Carriers to complete the calls as well.

The Underlying Carriers provide routes at different rates. We suspect that one of Google Voice's Underlying Carrier is using a cheaper route to complete calls to the Telengy Network(Phone Number Provider for 1631*******). We say this because some Underlying carriers do modify or strip the Caller ID.

We see that the last call that came in was Anonymous. Here is a snippet from the Call INVITE Packet for that particular call:

To: 1631*******<sip:1631*******@xx.xx.xx.xx>
From: <sip:1949*******@xx.xx.xx.xx>;tag=361*******-34294
Remote-Party-Id: <sip:9493********@xx.xx.xx.xx;user=phone>;party=calling;id-type=subscriber;privacy=uri;screen=yes

Please observe the "Privacy=uri" portion. This indicates that the call is being sent to us as ANONYMOUS and we should not pass the caller ID information for the call. As per the SIP RFC our servers are then stripping the CID information(1949xxxxxxx) when sending it to your device. This is beyond our control, Google needs to change or remove the privacy flag in order for the call to be forwarded with caller ID information.

A number of customers have tried to contact Google Voice however there has been no response from their end. You may try contacting them and if they do respond we will be happy to submit our trace logs and join the troubleshooting process.

If you have any further questions please feel free to contact us. Thank you

I'd love to get Google involved with this issue but don't know where to start.

Do you have any suggestions?

SteveInWA

ramjet:

Yes, I looked into this with Google last year sometime, when it was rampant.  At that time, there was some finger-pointing back and forth between Google and CC about it.  I eventually got Google to deal with the issue, as described by the CC tech's note.  It seems to have reappeared, although not as frequently.  It's intermittent because like the CC tech said, the calls can pass through different intermediate or "transit" carriers, depending on cost algorithms.  I now have a direct contact at Google who may be willing to fix it if you would like to help.

If so, I ask that you wait a couple of weeks, because there is a lot of high-priority work going on there now, with the Hangouts updates.  Then, on a weekday morning, submit a post on the GV Help Forum.  You can mention my forum nickname (For Bluescat:) in the title so I'll see it.  We'll need at least 3-5 sample inbound calls placed to your GV number, which forward to your CC free (Telengy) DID number, and delivered missing or bogus CNAM.  We'll need the date and times of the calls, the last 4 digits of your GV number, the last 4 digits of your CC DID, and the last 4 digits of the caller's number and if possible, their carrier (their telephone company).  We need this data to be "fresh", i.e., that you collect the samples and post them immediately, on a weekday, because phone switch logs can get purged every 24 hours, making it impossible to troubleshoot.

If you can do that, the Google engineer can look at the transit carriers that were used for those calls, and fix the issue.

ramjet73

Quote from: SteveInWA on September 11, 2014, 10:48:15 PM
If you can do that, the Google engineer can look at the transit carriers that were used for those calls, and fix the issue.
Sure, I'd be happy to do that. ;)

It's on my calendar for two weeks from this coming Monday (September 29).

Thanks!


giqcass

Quote from: Taoman on September 11, 2014, 07:07:48 PM
Quote from: giqcass on September 11, 2014, 06:22:55 PM

Are you receiving Caller ID on your Obi connected handsets without using and extra service like Callcentric?

If you're asking about CNAM then no, that's still not available. Callcentric is the only way I know to get that short of a PBX.
Actually you are right I meant CNAM. I guess my mind was elsewhere when I read the initial post.  I have been using the Callcentric trick almost from the beginning.   I like it because I can use my CC address book for CNAM lookup.  I manually add all my contacts there.
Long live our new ObiLords!

C6silver

Quote from: SteveInWA on September 11, 2014, 06:19:44 PM
Very well said.

This stuff was all worked out after Obihai was on the GV "death row clock".  When Google took its position with the third parties, Obihai had to scramble to come up with a survival strategy, as there was no indication that any alternative could be worked out to continue GV support.  Obihai wasn't trying to con anyone; they were doing the right thing for their company and their customers by encouraging users to seek out alternative providers.  It's really an example of "don't be evil", that Google recognized the opportunity to help solve the issue, and so now we have a technically sound, more secure solution.  Having Chee Chew, VP of engineering at Google, openly comment on the solution should convince the conspiracy theorists that this was a real threat, that has now been worked out to everyone's benefit.

Google Voice is, by no means, perfect, and having another ITSP as a backup or alternative service provider is an ideal approach.  Like RFC3261 said, options are good.

I have yet to see anyone blaming Obihai including myself (at least not in this thread).  I clearly stated, when the initial response was incorrectly interpreted, that no one could have thought differently based on Google's openly communicated stance. 

Taoman

Quote from: giqcass on September 12, 2014, 12:16:40 AM
I like it because I can use my CC address book for CNAM lookup.  I manually add all my contacts there.

Likewise. I really like the CC phonebook because of its CNAM override function. I much prefer to see "Dad" listed on my incoming call than "SMITH JOHN." And I especially appreciate the fact you can use the phonebook and call treatment functionality even with DIDs forwarded into CC via SIP URI. I have an IPComms DID I forward to CC via iNum. I also add all new incoming numbers into my CC phonebook.

kommon

Thats great news but I ported my number out to Anveo after OBI suggested that google voice won't be supported in May 2014.

Can OBI talk to Google and get a waiver for obi customer for porting number back to google voice?

ramjet73

Quote from: kommon on September 19, 2014, 09:42:30 AM
Thats great news but I ported my number out to Anveo after OBI suggested that google voice won't be supported in May 2014.

Can OBI talk to Google and get a waiver for obi customer for porting number back to google voice?
OBI didn't "suggest" that Google Voice wouldn't be supported in May they published the information from Google that XMPP wouldn't be supported after May 15th and offered their customers alternatives. Other third parties using Google Voice "unofficially" like the developers of GrooveIP and GVJack published similar notices.

As it turns out, Google's position on XMPP was ambiguous at best, as are most of their statements about future directions. However, if you read between the lines before May 15th, it made sense to position for a loss of GV on Obihai devices. How and when you did that was entirely up to you.

You can still port your number back to Google for $20 and take advantage of what is now an officially supported provider that is free for now but may not be forever. GV offers features that most other ITSP's don't and vice versa so it's still your own business decision which one is best for your needs.

ceg3

Anybody have a sense that GV is better in terms of call quality since the changes?

SteveInWA

Quote from: ceg3 on September 19, 2014, 07:48:07 PM
Anybody have a sense that GV is better in terms of call quality since the changes?

If you've noticed better GV call quality over time (in the past year or so), it is because Google has been making a large investment in improving their carrier network.  They've been analyzing user reports of dropped or poor-quality calls, and they have actually implemented automation to identify repeated call failures attributed to particular partner carriers.  For example, if you make or receive a call that routes via transit carrier XYZ, and it fails (the call is disconnected, or you hang up), and then immediately try again, this is noted and analyzed for possible remediation.

This has resulted in some carriers being eliminated for certain call routes, and replaced with others.  There is additional work going on to further improve the telco network topology to optimize call quality, so you'll continue to see improved reliability and improved audio quality.

ceg3

Excellent!  That's exactly what I was hoping to hear.  Really good to hear they are continually working to improve the service.  Bodes well for the future.  I've had my GV account as a backup, but have moved it to SP1 as I begin to consider not renewing the service I picked up last winter in response to the GV scare.