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Type It or Say It: Asterisk SMS Messaging Returns with Incredible PBX for XiVO

We continue our XiVO adventure today with two simple additions to the Incredible PBX for XiVO dialplan that enable SMS messaging both from SIP phones such as the Yealink T46G and using voice recognition from any XiVO phone. 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 on your Incredible PBX for XiVO server.

The prerequisites for SMS Messaging from a SIP phone with XiVO look like this:

  1. Incredible PBX for XiVO Server
  2. Preconfigured Google Voice Trunk
  3. SIP Phone capable of SMS Messaging, e.g. Yealink T46G 1

SIP Phone SMS Messaging. To begin, login to your XiVO PBX using your favorite web browser. We need to edit the existing gv.conf file by navigating to IPX Configuration → Configuration Files → gv.conf. The first context in the file should look like this:

exten = s,1,Set(XIVO_CALLOPTIONS=r)
same  =   n,Return()

Replace the entire context by cutting and pasting the following code and substituting your actual Google Voice account name and password for yourname and yourpassword below. Then Save the file changes leaving the Reload Dialplan option checked. Be sure that the third from the last line below does NOT wrap to a separate line in the XiVO editor!

;# // 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: (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 XiVO server.

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 XiVO 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 XiVO 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. XiVO’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 XiVO 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. XiVO’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.

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 XiVO 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.

SMS Dictator for XiVO. Okay. We hear you. Yes, typing SMS messages with a 12-button keypad can be tedious especially if your message is sprinkled with S’s. Pressing the 7 key eight times for every "s" in your text message is painful. If you’ve activated voice recognition on your Incredible PBX for XiVO server, then you can simply dictate your SMS messages by first dialing 767 (S-M-S) from any phone connected to your XiVO PBX. 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.

To install SMS Dictator on your Incredible PBX for XiVO server, issue the following commands and enter your Google Voice account name (with @gmail.com) and password when prompted:

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

3/2/2017 Update: A patched version of pygooglevoice to support SMS messaging is now available here.

Now simply dial S-M-S (767) from any phone connected to your XiVO PBX to send an SMS message. Enjoy!

Originally published: Monday, October 3, 2016

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1 Comment

  1. Hello Ward,

    Thank you for everything!

    Not all people use Google Voice trunk. Any hope of having a tutorial on how to send sms using a local trunk (like a GSM trunk with the GoIP)???

    [WM: The GoIP folks have never documented how to send SMS messages with their device. There is a well-documented alternative SMS messaging service with VoIP.ms although you’ll need a DID from them that supports SMS messaging.

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