Storms once again appear to be on the horizon for Google Voice. So it seemed a fitting time to document how to implement Google Voice on existing Incredible PBX® platforms today. And then we’ll leave it to Chicken Little and the self-proclaimed Google Voice experts to determine whether the sky is actually falling. This thread on DSL Reports claims to have the latest information. Regardless of what happens in June, now is an excellent time to develop a backup plan and implement some additional trunk options if your communications depends upon a VoIP platform. We’ve said it many times. The real beauty of VoIP technology is there is absolutely no reason to put all of your communications eggs in one basket. It costs almost nothing to diversify. Our platinum sponsor, Vitelity, stands ready to assist, and the Nerd Vittles special DID pricing remains in effect as well. See the end of this article for details.

Google Voice: Plain-Text Passwords

By default, Incredible PBX is preconfigured to support Google Voice trunks. If you wish to install the Whole Enchilada, then you must install Google Voice with OAuth 2 Google Voice support during the initial Lean install. If that’s your plan, skip down to the next section covering OAuth 2 implementation. Regardless of your password election, you’ll need a dedicated Google Voice account to support Incredible PBX. If you want to use the inbound fax capabilities of Incredible Fax, then you’ll need an additional Google Voice line that can be routed to the FAX custom destination using the GUI. The more obscure the username (with some embedded numbers), the better off you will be. This will keep folks from bombarding you with unsolicited Gtalk chat messages, and who knows what nefarious scheme will be discovered using Google messaging six months from now. So keep this account a secret!

We’ve tested this extensively using an existing Gmail account, and inbound calling is just not reliable. The reason seems to be that Google always chooses Gmail chat as the inbound call destination if there are multiple registrations from the same IP address. So, be reasonable. Do it our way! Set up a dedicated Gmail and Google Voice account, and use it exclusively with Incredible PBX. It’s free and works reliably at least until 2018. Google Voice no longer is by invitation only so, if you’re in the U.S. or have a friend that is, head over to the Google Voice site and register.

You must choose a telephone number (aka DID) for your new account, or Google Voice calling will not work… in either direction. Google used to permit outbound Gtalk calls using a fake CallerID, but that obviously led to abuse so it’s over! You also have to tie your Google Voice account to at least one working phone number as part of the initial setup process. Your cellphone number will work just fine. Don’t skip this step either. Just enter the provided 2-digit confirmation code when you tell Google to place the test call to the phone number you entered. Once the number is registered, you can disable it if you’d like in Settings, Voice Setting, Phones. But…

IMPORTANT: Be sure to enable the Google Chat option as one of your phone destinations in Settings, Voice Setting, Phones. That’s the destination we need for The Incredible PBX to work its magic! Otherwise, all inbound and outbound calls will fail. If you don’t see this option, you may need to call up Gmail and enable Google Chat there first. Then go back to the Google Voice Settings.

While you’re still in Google Voice Settings, click on the Calls tab. Make sure your settings match these:

  • Call ScreeningOFF
  • Call PresentationOFF
  • Caller ID (In)Display Caller’s Number
  • Caller ID (Out)Don’t Change Anything
  • Do Not DisturbOFF
  • Call Options (Enable Recording)OFF
  • Global Spam FilteringON

Click Save Changes once you adjust your settings. Under the Voicemail tab, plug in your email address so you get notified of new voicemails. Down the road, receipt of a Google Voice voicemail will be a big hint that something has come unglued on your PBX.

UPDATE: Google has improved things… again. You may not see the options documented above at all. Instead, you may be presented with the new Google Voice interface which does not include the Google Chat option. But fear not. At least for now there’s still a way to get there. After you have set up your new phone number, click on (1) Settings -> Phone Numbers and then click (2) Transfer (as shown below). That returned the old UI. Make sure the Google Chat option is selected and disable forwarding calls to default phone number.



One final word of caution is in order regardless of your choice of providers: Do NOT use special characters in any provider passwords, or nothing will work!

Now you’re ready to set up your Google Voice trunk in the GUI. After logging in with your browser, click the Connectivity tab and choose Google Voice/Motif. To Add a new Google Voice account, just fill out the form. Do NOT check the third box or incoming calls will never ring!

IMPORTANT LAST STEP: Google Voice will not work unless you restart Asterisk from the Linux command line at this juncture. Using SSH, log into your server as root and issue the following command: amportal restart.

If you have trouble getting Google Voice to work (especially if you have previously used your Google Voice account from a different IP address), try this Google Voice Reset Procedure. It usually fixes connectivity problems. If it still doesn’t work, enable Less Secure Apps using this Google tool.

Google Voice: Using OAuth Credentials

If you’re one of the five people on Earth that does not yet have a Gmail account, start there. Once you’ve set up your Gmail account and logged in, open a new browser tab to access the Google Voice site. Accept the Google Terms and Privacy Policy. Then choose a new Phone Number in your favorite area code. NOTE: Before Google will assign you a number, you must enter an existing U.S. phone number to verify your identity and location as well as to use for initially forwarding calls. Once your account is set up, you will get an email asking that you verify your email address. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be prompted to login to your Google Voice account again. When you do so, you’ll be prompted to Install the Hangouts Dialer app to make VoIP calls from Android. Do NOT install the dialer, or you may break the ability to use your Google Voice number with Asterisk. Instead, click X to close the dialog box.

UPDATE: Google continues to tighten up on obtaining more than one Google Voice number from the same computer or the same IP address. If this is a problem for you, here’s a workaround. From your smartphone, install the Google Voice app from iPhone App Store or Google’s Play Store. Then open the app and login to your new Google account. Choose your new Google Voice number when prompted and provide a cell number with SMS as your callback number for verification. Once the number is verified, log out of Google Voice. Do NOT make any calls. Now head back to your PC’s browser and login to http://google.com/voice. You will be presented with the new Google Voice interface which does not include the Google Chat option. But fear not. At least for now there’s still a way to get there. After you have set up your new phone number and opened the Google Voice interface, click on the 3 vertical dots in the left sidebar (it’s labeled More). When it opens, click Legacy Google Voice in the sidebar. That will return you to the old UI. Now click on the Gear icon (upper right) and choose Settings. Make sure the Google Chat option is selected and disable forwarding calls to whatever default phone number you set up.

Next, click on the Calls tab. Make sure your settings match these:

  • Call ScreeningOFF
  • Call PresentationOFF
  • Caller ID (In)Display Caller’s Number
  • Caller ID (Out)Don’t Change Anything
  • Do Not DisturbOFF
  • Call Options (Enable Recording)OFF
  • Global Spam FilteringON

Under the Voicemail tab, plug in your email address so you get notified of new voicemails. Then click Save Settings. Down the road, receipt of a Google Voice voicemail will be a big hint that something has come unglued on your PBX.

One final word of caution is in order regardless of your choice of providers: Do NOT use special characters in any provider passwords, or nothing will work!

Now it’s time to obtain your OAuth 2 credentials. Even though it’s a bit more work on the front end, the good news is you won’t have to worry about your Google Voice trunks failing when Google phases out plain-text passwords. The other good news is you won’t be passing your plain-text Google Voice credentials across the Internet for everyone in the world to see.

While you’re still logged into your Google Voice account, you need to obtain a refresh_token which is what you’ll use instead of a password when setting up your Google Voice account with XiVO. Here’s how.

1. Be sure you are still logged into your Google Voice account. If not, log back in at https://www.google.com/voice.

2. Go to the Google OAUTH Playground using your browser while still logged into your Google Voice account.

3. Once logged in to Google OAUTH Playground, click on the Gear icon in upper right corner (as shown below).

  3a. Check the box: Use your own OAuth credentials
  3b. Enter Incredible PBX OAuth Client ID:

466295438629-prpknsovs0b8gjfcrs0sn04s9hgn8j3d.apps.googleusercontent.com

  3c. Enter Incredible PBX OAuth Client secret: 4ewzJaCx275clcT4i4Hfxqo2
  3d. Click Close

4. Click Step 1: Select and Authorize APIs (as shown below)

  4a. In OAUTH Scope field, enter: https://www.googleapis.com/auth/googletalk
  4b. Click Authorize APIs (blue) button.

5. Click Step 2: Exchange authorization code for tokens

  5a. Click Exchange authorization code for tokens (blue) button

  5b. When the tokens have been generated, Step 2 will close.

6. Reopen Step 2 and copy your Refresh_Token. This is the "password" you will need to enter (together with your Gmail account name and 10-digit GV phone number) when you add your GV trunk in the Incredible PBX GUI. Store this refresh_token in a safe place. Google doesn’t permanently store it!

7. Authorization tokens NEVER expire! If you ever need to remove your authorization tokens, go here and delete Incredible PBX Google Voice OAUTH entry by clicking on it and choosing DELETE option.

Switch back to your Gmail account and click on the Phone icon at the bottom of the window to place one test call. Once you successfully place a call, you can log out of Google Voice and Gmail.

Now you’re ready to set up your Google Voice trunk in the GUI. After logging in with your browser, click the Connectivity tab and choose Google Voice/Motif. To Add a new Google Voice account, just fill out the form. Do NOT check the third box or incoming calls will never ring!

Troubleshooting Audio and DTMF Problems

You can avoid one-way audio on calls and touchtones that don’t work with these simple settings in the GUI: Settings -> Asterisk SIP Settings. Just plug in your public IP address and your private IP subnet. Then set ULAW as the only Audio Codec.

Originally published: Monday, May 7, 2018





Need help with VitalPBX? Visit the VitalPBX Forum.


 

Special Thanks to Our Generous Sponsors

FULL DISCLOSURE: RentPBX, Amazon, Vitelity, DigitalOcean, Vultr, Digium, Sangoma, 3CX, TelecomsXchange and others have provided financial support to Nerd Vittles and our open source projects through advertising, referral revenue, and/or merchandise. We’ve chosen these providers not the other way around. Our decisions are based upon their corporate reputation and the quality of their offerings and their pricing. Our recommendations regarding technology are reached without regard to financial compensation except in situations in which comparable products at comparable pricing are available from multiple sources. In this limited case, we support our sponsors because our sponsors support us.

Awesome Vitelity Special. Vitelity has generously offered a terrific discount for Nerd Vittles readers. You now can get an almost half-price DID from our special Vitelity sign-up link. If you’re seeking the best flexibility in choosing an area code and phone number plus the lowest entry level pricing plus high quality calls, then Vitelity is the hands-down winner. Vitelity provides Tier A DID inbound service in over 3,000 rate centers throughout the US and Canada. When you use our special link to sign up, Nerd Vittles gets a few shekels down the road to support our open source development efforts while you get an incredible signup deal as well. The going rate for Vitelity’s DID service is $7.95 a month which includes up to 4,000 incoming minutes on two simultaneous channels with terminations priced at 1.45¢ per minute. Not any more! For our users, here’s a deal you can’t (and shouldn’t) refuse! Sign up now, and you can purchase a Tier A DID with unlimited incoming calls and four simultaneous channels for just $3.99 a month. To check availability of local numbers and tiers of service from Vitelity, click here. NOTE: You can only use the Nerd Vittles sign-up link to order your DIDs, or you won’t get the special pricing! Vitelity’s rate is just 1.44¢ per minute for outbound calls in the U.S. There is a $35 prepay when you sign up. This covers future usage. Any balance is refundable if you decide to discontinue service with Vitelity.


RentPBX, a long-time partner and supporter of PIAF project, is offering generous discounts for Nerd Vittles readers. For all of your Incredible PBX hosting needs, sign up at www.RentPBX.com and use code NOGOTCHAS to get the special pricing. The code will lower the price to $14.99/month, originally $24.99/month. It’s less than 50¢/day.


When considering commercial PBX alternatives, why not turn to the company that brought you Asterisk, the platform that also serves as the foundation for Switchvox. Digium’s out-of-the-box VoIP phone system is available on-premises or in the cloud with enterprise-caliber UC features and pricing that’s ideal for small and mid-size companies, schools, universities, & non-profits.


Be Sociable, Share!

Tags:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*