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Free SMS Messaging Returns to Incredible PBX for Wazo

We continue our Wazo adventure today with a few simple additions to the Incredible PBX for Wazo dialplan. We will enable SMS messaging both from SIP phones such as the Yealink T46G and using voice recognition from any phone connected to Wazo including WebRTC. Of course, you still can use the command line to send SMS messages to one or more recipients using SMS Message Blasting which is covered below. To implement SMS messaging, you’ll need at least one Google Voice account configured. To implement the voice recognition option, you’ll also need to first enable voice recognition with Incredible PBX for Wazo.

The prerequisites for SMS Messaging with Incredible PBX for Wazo look like this:

  1. Incredible PBX for Wazo Server
  2. Preconfigured Google Voice Trunk
  3. Activate Google Speech Recognition on your server

Activating Google Speech Recognition on Your Server. If you haven’t previously activated Google Speech Recognition on your Wazo server, you’ll need to complete this step if you want to be able to dictate SMS messages from phones connected to Wazo. Follow this tutorial to obtain a speech recognition API key and activate the Google service on your server. It only takes a couple minutes.

SMS Dictator for Wazo. True to form, Google broke the command-line SMS messaging component a few weeks ago. So let’s get that squared away before we begin. Install the latest Google Voice python scripts and the updated SMS Dictator components by issuing the following commands after logging into your server as root. You’ll need your Google Voice credentials to install the update:

cd /root
wget http://incrediblepbx.com/sms-dictator-wazo.tar.gz
tar zxvf sms-dictator-wazo.tar.gz
rm -f sms-dictator-wazo.tar.gz

Wazo SMS Messaging Setup. You may also want to enable your SIP phones to send SMS messages directly. Login to your Wazo PBX using your favorite web browser. We need to review the existing gv.conf file by navigating to IPX Configuration → Configuration Files → gv.conf. Review the first context in the file. It should look like the following. Be sure that the third from the last line below does NOT wrap to a separate line in the Wazo editor! Insert your Google Voice credentials for GVACCT and GVPASS.

;# // BEGIN gv-outcall
exten = s,1,Set(XIVO_CALLOPTIONS=r)
same  =   n,GotoIf($["${MESSAGE(body)}" = ""]?skipsms)
same  =   n,Set(GVACCT=yourname@gmail.com)
same  =   n,Set(GVPASS=yourpassword)
same  =   n,System(/usr/bin/gvoice -e ${GVACCT} -p ${GVPASS} send_sms ${XIVO_DSTNUM} "${MESSAGE(body)}")
same  =   n(skipsms),Return()
;# // END gv-outcall

Once you get this set up and since we’ll be using plain text passwords to send the SMS messages through Google Voice, you’ll need to perform these two additional steps after first logging into your Google account with a browser using the same IP address as your Wazo server: (1) Enable Less Secure Apps and (2) Activate the Google Voice Reset Procedure. Now promptly send an SMS message from a phone registered to your Wazo server.

Dial S-M-S (767) from any phone connected to your Wazo PBX to send an SMS message. After dictating your message, you have the choice of keying in a 10-digit phone number for the SMS recipient or you can say the name of anyone in your AsteriDex phone book.

Sending SMS Messages. We obviously can’t cover the SMS messaging methodology for every SIP phone on the market. But here’s how to send an SMS message using Yealink’s T46G. First, configure one of the buttons on the phone as an extension on your Wazo PBX. Next, press the Menu button. Highlight Messages and press OK. Choose Text Message and OK. Choose New Message and OK. Type your SMS message using the keypad and press Send button. For the From: field, use the left and right arrow keys to select your Wazo extension. Press the down arrow and fill in the SMS number of your recipient just as you would do on your smartphone. Press the Send button. "Sending Message" will appear briefly on the T46G’s display. Wazo’s Asterisk CLI also will show transmission of the SMS message.

Interestingly, the same SMS functionality exists on the $29 UTP E-62 (if you can find one). Choose Menu → Applications → SMS → New. Type your SMS message using the keypad and press Send button. For the From: field, use the left and right arrow keys to select your Wazo extension. Press the down arrow and fill in the SMS number of your recipient just as you would do on your smartphone. Press the Send button. "Sending Message" will appear briefly on the UTP’s display. Wazo’s Asterisk CLI also will show the SMS transmission.

For bargain hunters that can’t find a UTP E-62, Yealink’s $50 YEA-SIP-T19P-E2 Entry-level SIP phone also appears to support SMS messaging. As with the UTP phones, you’ll need a $9 power supply unless your network supports POE.

Creating an SMS Message Blast with Wazo. Here’s how to take advantage of SMS Message Blasting using a Google Voice account with Incredible PBX for Wazo. Log into your server as root and do the following:

  1. Edit /root/smsmsg.txt and insert the text message to be sent
  2. Edit /root/smslist.txt and create a list of the phone numbers to receive the message
  3. Edit /root/smsblast and insert your gvoice username and password
  4. Run /root/smsblast to kick off the SMS Blast

Receiving SMS Messages. Typically reply messages to Google Voice numbers are forwarded either to an email address or to Hangouts. We don’t recommend enabling incoming mail on your Wazo PBX. Instead, add a New Alternate Email Address to your Google Voice account in Settings → Voicemail & Text. After verifying the new email address, set it as your Voicemail Notification email address and Save changes. Go back into Settings → Voicemail & Text and make certain that you have also checked the Text Forwarding checkbox which now should reflect your alternate email address. Now all of your incoming SMS messages will be delivered to this email address.

TIP: Google will no longer let you forward incoming SMS messages directly to another SMS destination, but you can cheat. If you have your own mail server or a non-Gmail account on which you can redirect incoming mail without verification, then simply set up the alternate email address as documented above. Then reroute that email address to point to an SMS-email gateway that forwards incoming messages to SMS, e.g. 8431234567@txt.att.net to send an SMS message to your AT&T cellphone. The complete list of providers is here. Enjoy!

Originally published: Monday, April 3, 2017

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