Vestalink Now "Supports Direct Integration With Google Voice"

Started by ceg3, March 22, 2015, 07:42:18 AM

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SteveInWA

Quote from: LTN1 on March 22, 2015, 09:41:38 PM
Quote from: ceg3 on March 22, 2015, 10:28:01 AM
I decided to reply to the email and here is the text that confirms you don't need to port into VL to use their ATA as GV connected device.

Me:  I followed a link to Amazon, which seems to indicate a user can purchase your ATA and use it to connect a Google Voice number the way you can with an OBi. Does this mean you can use it that way without porting in a number into VL and signing up for service?

Ryan at VL:  Yes, that is correct. Thank you!

Steve...(above quote for reference to my question) What makes you believe that Vestalink may be providing misleading information about their ATA being like an OBi in ceg3's question to them and their response?

Note how that question was phrased, and the answer that was given:  yes, you can use a VL number as a forwarding number with an existing or new Google Voice account, without porting your GV number to VL.  All inbound calls will go to GV, then be forwarded to whatever forwarding number(s) the user adds to his/her GV account, exactly the same way GV can be used with any other service provider's DIDs.  Outbound calls would be placed via VL, spoofing the user's GV caller ID, exactly the same way one could make calls with any other telco that permits caller ID spoofing.  There is nothing new, unique, or different about this.  Many of us already do this with some other SIP ITSP.


  • The Grandstream ATA being used does not have any ability to work directly with Google Voice via the XMPP Chat protocol, or otherwise, via its hardware and firmware.  I own one, and I am very familiar with its capabilities.  You can view the product's technical specifications at the manufacturer's website.
  • There is no evidence, from my own examination of the VL website, that they are doing anything special to enable any sort of direct connection or gateway to Google's service.
  • Their website merely documents the same, standard information about how to add a VL number as an ordinary forwarding number to one's GV account (which is exactly the same as adding any other ordinary telephone number as a forwarding phone number for GV use.
  • Their website describes setting up caller ID spoofing to send one's GV telephone number with outbound calls, which, again, is no different than can be accomplished with some other SIP ITSPs like Callcentric.
  • They haven't disclosed any evidence that they have any sort of back-end connection technology to Google's infrastructure.

TL;DR:  nothing to see here, move along.

LTN1

Steve...I'm not saying that Vestalink's assertions are true. I just think that ceg3's question to Vestalink was pretty clear...at least to me...basically asking is their ATA just like an OBi and that you can connect to GV without even signing up to Vestalink?

Vestalink's reply was a simple yes, that is correct.

If Vestalink is correctly answering ceg3's question the way ceg3 intended, I wonder where you are getting the between the lines information?

If you are correct (which I probably would bet on you), Vestalink is shooting themselves the foot even further by perpetuating misleading information and I don't know how they can recover their reputation after this.

SteveInWA

Quote from: LTN1 on March 22, 2015, 10:55:45 PM
Steve...I'm not saying that Vestalink's assertions are true. I just think that ceg3's question to Vestalink was pretty clear...at least to me...basically asking is their ATA just like an OBi and that you can connect to GV without even signing up to Vestalink?

Vestalink's reply was a simple yes, that is correct.

If Vestalink is correctly answering ceg3's question the way ceg3 intended, I wonder where you are getting the between the lines information?

If you are correct (which I probably would bet on you), Vestalink is shooting themselves the foot even further by perpetuating misleading information and I don't know how they can recover their reputation after this.

Ha, now it sounds like you're cross-examining me on the witness stand.

I can't speak for ceg3 or VL (nor do I really want to).  You can take their Q&A any way you wish.  I am only trying to interpret the question in a way that VL could have answered as they did, whilst giving them the benefit of the doubt, in that, technically, they could "support" GV the same way as any other ITSP. 

It would be very easy for VL to describe their service as working with GV:  It reminds me of the Saturday Night Live tobacco grower's association lawyer, "Nathan Thurm", being questioned.  "I know that.  What makes you think I said that?  No, I never said that.  What makes you think I said that"?

https://screen.yahoo.com/nathan-thurm-tobacco-growers-america-000000071.html

SteveInWA

I will say this, though:  the more revealing questions that someone could ask, if desired, would be "How does your Grandstream ATA connect directly to Google Voice's infrastructure?  How does it authenticate to my Google account?  Is it different in any way from the standard HT-701 I could buy elsewhere?  What do you mean by the term "Direct integration?  How is this any different from the way DIDs from other service providers are used with a Google Voice account?  What features of your service are better or different from other ITSPs?"

LTN1

Quote from: SteveInWA on March 22, 2015, 11:25:46 PM
I will say this, though:  the more revealing questions that someone could ask, if desired, would be "How does your Grandstream ATA connect directly to Google Voice's infrastructure?  How does it authenticate to my Google account?  Is it different in any way from the standard HT-701 I could buy elsewhere?  What do you mean by the term "Direct integration?  How is this any different from the way DIDs from other service providers are used with a Google Voice account?  What features of your service are better or different from other ITSPs?"

Can't a country lawyer just ask a simple question without being grilled by the witness?

Since Vestalink has access to this forum, I'll let Vestalink answer your questions if it so chooses.

Vestalink

Hey everyone, the Vestalink ATA is just an ht701 with our logo on it, it's not locked or special in any way.  Vestalink allows you to use any SIP device with Google Voice in the US. Bring your own device to google voice. 
VoIP Phone Service from Vestalink - http://www.vestalink.com

LTN1

Quote from: Vestalink on March 23, 2015, 09:00:14 AM
Hey everyone, the Vestalink ATA is just an ht701 with our logo on it, it's not locked or special in any way.  Vestalink allows you to use any SIP device with Google Voice in the US. Bring your own device to google voice. 

SteveInWA, being an IT expert, has a number of more technical questions for your ATA device but I just have a simple one.

Can the the Vestalink ATA, currently being promoted to work with Google Voice, function exactly like an OBi, where the user does not have to sign up for any VoIP services, obtain a phone number from any other VoIP services like Vestalink, and be connected to Google Voice in the same exact way that an OBi device can, without any other services besides Google Voice?

Vestalink

The device is being promoted to work with Vestalink, and Vestalink works with Google Voice.
VoIP Phone Service from Vestalink - http://www.vestalink.com

LTN1

Quote from: Vestalink on March 23, 2015, 09:19:41 AM
The device is being promoted to work with Vestalink, and Vestalink works with Google Voice.

I'm understanding from the above answer that SteveInWA's analysis of the Vestalink ATA was correct--it does not work in the same exact way as the OBi devices with Google Voice.

Vestalink

No, thats not correct (just read his post).  Vestalink acts as a bridge between SIP and XMPP so that you can use any ATA or desk IP phone with your Google Voice account.   There is no forwarding involved, its a direct connection.  
VoIP Phone Service from Vestalink - http://www.vestalink.com

LTN1

Quote from: Vestalink on March 23, 2015, 09:46:19 AM
No, thats not correct (just read his post).  Vestalink acts as a bridge between SIP and XMPP so that you can use any ATA or desk IP phone with your Google Voice account.   There is no forwarding involved, its a direct connection.  

Can the Vestalink ATA be used exactly like the OBi with Google Voice without having any connection to Vestalink like the OBi can right now?

I understand that the Vestalink ATA is claiming that it can act as a bridge to Google Voice but can the purchaser not sign up to a Vestalink plan at all and just use the Vestalink ATA with Google Voice permanently and without limit like the OBi?

Vestalink

Thats not what the device is claiming, it works with Google Voice through Vestalink.  I made an edit to the Amazon posting so it is very clear and there is no confusion. 
VoIP Phone Service from Vestalink - http://www.vestalink.com

LTN1

Quote from: Vestalink on March 23, 2015, 10:13:40 AM
Thats not what the device is claiming, it works with Google Voice through Vestalink.  I made an edit to the Amazon posting so it is very clear and there is no confusion. 

I'm glad you made that update. It is much clearer now. Thanks.

ceg3

OK, so the answer to my question about using the VL Grandstream as a Google Voice connected device without signing up with VL went from yes to no.  You still need a subscription with VL to use the Grandstream ATA with your Google Voice number.  This has all been just a bunch of tail chasing, but hasn't it been fun?  ;D

billsimon

What are the pros and cons of device-side GV connectivity vs. a SIP channel to server-side GV interconnection? Interested in hearing some thoughts on this.

gsmlnx

2 cons to using Vestalink

1. You have to pay Vestalink to use their service in addition to paying Google

2. All your calls to and from Google are going through a 3rd party server (Vestalink) so if Vestalink have problems so do you. You are adding in a level of complexity that isn't needed. The more moving parts, the more to go wrong.

Vestalink

Here are some benefits for users interested in Vestalink
1. Vestalink has 911 services natively
2. Google Voice will not port/transfer in landline numbers, Vestalink can.
3. Currently MWI (message waiting indicator) no longer works with the Obi and Google Voice directly, however it does when you use your OBi with Vestalink voicemail and Google Voice calling.

Vestalink is designed to be a simple drop in replacement for a landline.   A complete package and integration with Google voice.

QuoteAll your calls to and from Google are going through a 3rd party server (Vestalink) so if Vestalink have problems so do you. You are adding in a level of complexity that isn't needed. The more moving parts, the more to go wrong.

I believe if Obihai's provisioning servers went down your OBi would not be able to update its Oauth password to re-register to Google Voice.  This password is updated every hour.
VoIP Phone Service from Vestalink - http://www.vestalink.com

LTN1

Quote from: Vestalink on March 23, 2015, 12:45:44 PM
I believe if Obihai's provisioning servers went down your OBi would not be able to update its Oauth password to re-register to Google Voice.  This password is updated every hour.  

Steve...is the above claim regarding Obihai provisioning servers supported by the facts?

billsimon

The device could refresh its own token as needed, but this would require the firmware to contain Obihai's oauth2 client-id and secret with Google, which would be a questionable design decision. (Those credentials are disposable, and should be disposed of, when there's suspicion of compromise.)

In other words, it's likely that the devices rely on the provisioning server to provide updated access tokens either on a regular basis or as needed. A network capture would easily confirm or refute.

Vestalink

That's what I was thinking too.  Seems questionable to put the oauth google credentials in the device firmware directly, those are best on the provisioning servers especially since if those credentials change it wont require another firmware upgrade.  Maybe someone can confirm this theory by blocking the obitalk provisioning servers and trying to connect the OBi via oauth to GV?
VoIP Phone Service from Vestalink - http://www.vestalink.com