Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Google Voice Service Is Still Working on My OBi


The Google Voice Service is Still Working on My OBi! How come?

At the end of last year, Google Inc. announced that the open and documented XMPP communication protocol would be abandoned in favor of a new, proprietary way to do real-time voice, video and instant messaging communications. The time-line for the migration to this new way was not stated.

At about the same time, but separately, Google stated third-party applications should stop supporting XMPP by May 15th 2014. Now that this date has passed, like you, we have observed Google services using XMPP are still connected and working, e.g. you can still place and receive calls using a Gmail account configured on your OBi device. It is important to note, this does not change the previous statements from Obihai that we no longer support direct connections to Google Voice on OBi devices. We strongly recommend all OBi owners using the Google Voice service obtain a new service to ensure continued, uninterrupted calling from the phone connected to the OBi.

Fortunately, there are several OBiTALK Approved Service Provider (ASP) choices available to all OBi device owners for Internet VoIP phone services. These services are easy to sign-up for and configure automatically on an OBi device. They also come at a great price - with all fees and taxes included.

OBiTALK Approved Service Provider Updates

OneSuite:



OneSuite has been added as an OBiTALK ASP. OneSuite has a unique pay-as-you go offer for Obi device owners called SuiteAdvantage. This offer does not include 911. In addition to using your OBi device, you will also be able to make cheap calls and receive unlimited calls using OneSuite's smartphone app or computer softphone. No hidden fees, no setup fees, no contract! Sign-up for SuiteAdvantage with at least $10 credit in a OneSuite prepaid account and receive a 6-month free subscription to OneSuite's online fax service.

More OBiTALK ASP Partners:

Anveo:

With annual plans starting at $39.99 including E911, Anveo offers voice services for home and small business users. Anveo also provides free porting of Google Voice numbers to their service.

Phone Power:

Phone Power, one of the largest VoIP providers in North America, offers exclusive calling plans to Obihai customers. Starting at $34.99 per year including E911, OBi device owners can easily set-up a Phone Power service using the OBiTALK portal.

Coming Soon: RingTo, a new OBiTALK approved Service Provider with Absolutely FREE Calling!

We would like to welcome "RingTo" to the OBiTALK Approved Service Provider program. The RingTo offer will be for customers who have purchased a new OBi100, OBi110, OBi200, OBi202 or OBi5vs series device after May 1st 2014 and have a Google Voice or other valid US phone number that can be ported to RingTo.

What's different about RingTo from the other OBiTALK approved service providers, in terms of the initial setup, is that you have to port your own phone number -landline, mobile or VoIP- to the RingTo service. You also need to purchase your own 911 service separately. RingTo is a FREE Service that allows you to untether your phone number. RingTo will provide the following to new OBi device owners:

  • Free SMS
  • Free Voicemail
  • Free Call Forwarding
  • Free calling in North America

When Ringto is available as an OBiTALK ASP, here is what you will need to do to see if Ringto is available to you:
  1. Check if your number is eligible to be ported to Ringto
  2. Get 911 configured on your OBi device
  3. Port your US number to Ringto
  4. Start making calls!
The RingTo ASP offer at OBiTALK will be available inside the next few weeks.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Obihai Announces OBiTALK Approved Service Provider Program

Anveo and Phone Power the First VoIP Providers Offering Seamless Set-Up of Voice and Fax Services to OBi Device Owners for Under $40 per Year


Obihai Technology, a leading endpoint device manufacturer in the Voice over IP (VoIP) industry and maker of best-selling OBi universal VoIP adapters has announced a new program that will allow service providers to provision VoIP services on OBi VoIP phone adapters and IP phones seamlessly. 

The OBiTALK Approved Service Provider (ASP) program comes at an opportune time for service providers and OBi device owners alike.  Currently, hundreds of thousands of homes and small businesses have an OBi device used with the free Google Voice™ Service.  The Google service uses a communication protocol called XMPP to connect the OBi to the service.  Late last year, Google announced as of May 15th, XMPP would no longer be supported for third-party VoIP applications.  With that, after May 15th Obihai will no longer support the Google Voice service on its OBi devices.

Starting today, OBi device owners can switch their voice service from Google Voice to an OBiTALK ASP partner easily, by going to the www.OBiTALK.com portal and selecting the Approved Service Providers link.  Listed there are multiple service options, including offers from Anveo and Phone Power available for the exclusive use of OBi device owners.  Service plans start at under $40 per year and include all the features needed for a primary-line voice service – including E911 emergency services calling. More ASP partners are expected to be approved and added in the coming months.

“The OBiTALK ASP program provides a great way for VoIP service providers to offer services to Obihai’s customers that meet their specific communication needs for home and small office usage,” said Obihai President and CEO, Jan Fandrianto. He went on to say, “End users will love it because they maintain control of the services running on their OBi. The OBi device is not locked to a single service provider.”

The OBiTALK ASP program allows the provision of an unlocked OBi device purchased for BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) services use.  Specifically, the models supported by the OBiTALK ASP program are the OBi100, OBi110, OBi200 and OBi202. The OBiTALK service API (Application Programming Interface) provides the magic happening under the covers of the OBiTALK portal.  Via a secure API connected to the service provider’s subscriber sign-up process, devices are able to make and receive calls minutes from when the subscriber initially selects their service. The combination of a subscriber-purchased device, eCommerce fulfillment and the shared-support model employed between Obihai and the service provider allows the service provider to offer a complete phone service at a low price yet maintain high first-time installation success rates.

For consumers, another valuable element of the OBiTALK ASP program is the advertised prices for OBiTALK ASP partner offerings include all taxes and fees. Too often, consumers are met with an unwelcome charge because they did not see or understand the fine print or became confused as to the final price of the service.  With OBiTALK ASP partner offerings, consumers will have a choice amongst several clearly-priced services made available exclusively to OBi device owners.

For those who want to continue to use their Google Voice number with a newly configured OBiTALK ASP partner’s service, there are a couple options.  The first is to port the Google Voice number to the service provider’s network.  This may incur a porting fee and take time to complete. The second way to keep using a Google Voice number is easy and instant. The OBi owner enters a new phone number assigned by the service provider into the Google Voice “forwards calls to” phone settings.  Once this is done, calls to the OBi owner’s Google Voice number will be forwarded directly to the OBi device, ringing their attached phone normally. When making calls, if offered by the ASP partner, OBi customers will be able to set up a custom outgoing Caller ID number, e.g. their Google Voice number, during the sign-up process on the ASP partner’s website.

Gmail and Google Voice are trademarks of Google, Inc. Other company names mentioned herein are the registered trademarks or service marks of their respective owners.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

What Does 40 Bucks and an OBi Device Buy in 2014?

Update from Obihai on 3/18/14: OBiTALK Approved Service Provider Program 

A Full-Year of an Affordable and Amazingly Powerful Home Phone Solution


Obihai would like to share what’s been going on since our last article about the impending end, in May, of XMPP-based calling using the Google Voice™ service.

Innovation and Partnership
We have some exciting and important news to share with you, which we believe will further enhance the value and flexibility that comes with an OBi VoIP device.  Over the past several months, our engineers have been working on extending the OBiTALK cloud-configuration API to third-party Internet Telephony Service Providers (ITSPs).  Via this secure configuration and programming interface, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) VoIP services will be even easier to set-up and use on Obihai products.  Along with the engineering work, we have also been in discussions with several of our ITSP partners on plans to transition existing Google Voice + OBi customers.  We wanted to make sure that OBi users retained the power to leverage a BYOD service from a participating ITSP, keeping intact a full-featured phone service that can be used as a primary or secondary phone line for homes or small businesses.

Coming Soon to OBiTALK.com
In a few weeks, we will announce the first ITSP partnership with specifics about the service, features and a price that will delight current OBi users and drive many more people to use an OBi and a BYOD VoIP service with their broadband Internet connection.

Here is what we expect to provide OBi customers in cooperation with our ITSP partner.  OBi device owners will be able to sign-up for a voice service plan provided by the ITSP, for as little as $39.99 a YEAR.   That’s only $3.33 per month!  Included in the plan will be; a new phone number, a set-number of outbound calling minutes, unlimited inbound calling, E911 emergency service calling, telemarketer blocking, and many call features like voicemail, caller ID, 3-party conference calls, call waiting, etc.  And by the way, this low price will include all taxes and fees associated with the service.

Your Google Voice Number
If you want to keep using your Google Voice (GV) number, there are two ways to do this:

1.  You can sign-up for an ITSP account with a new number, like the $40/year service described above, and use this number in your Google Voice account’s “forward calls to” phone settings.  Calls to your GV number will be automatically forwarded to your ITSP account number, and the phone connected to the OBi will ring.  Calls from the OBi can be dialed normally and you will have the option to have the ITSP send your GV number as your calling number, e.g. the number that appears as the caller ID on phone of the party you call.

2.  You can port your GV number to an ITSP service provider, like the $40/year service described above.  There is a $3 fee paid to Google to port-out the number and there may be a fee from the ITSP  for porting-in the number.  Once your GV number is ported to the ITSP, all inbound and outbound calling is provided by the ITSP.

Maintain Control and Optimize Your Investment
Unlike ‘locked’ devices from other VoIP companies, unlocked Obihai VoIP devices can be used with a multitude of services.  This protects your investment in the OBi device and gives you the most flexibility and choice as to what services to use with your OBi. At just over $3 per month for service, an unlocked OBi VoIP device with an ITSP’s BYOD service is the most flexible, most money-saving and ultimately, the most powerful home and small business phone solution that a smart VoIP user can buy.  With expert support directly from Obihai and its ITSP partners, OBi users will continue to win with consistent and high-quality service.

Thank you for choosing Obihai and Happy New Year!
 


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Important Message About Google Voice and Your OBi Device

Update from Obihai on 3/18/14: OBiTALK Approved Service Provider Program
Update from Obihai on 12/31/13: Home Phone Service for Less Than 40 Bucks per Year

Google Sets the Date for the End of XMPP with Google Voice
Recently Google announced the end of support for XMPP based calling with Google Voice. This will happen on May 15, 2014 – that’s over 6 months from today. Since your OBi device uses XMPP to communicate with Google servers, the end of support will directly impact how your OBi device can be used with your Gmail account and its associated Google Voice phone number. Unfortunately, you will no longer be able to use the Google Voice communication service to make calls using the phone connected to your OBi device.  Also, the ability to receive calls to your Google Voice number, directly from Google’s service, will not be possible. 

Fortunately, your OBi device may be used with many Internet phone service providers – all providing very low-cost calling to the USA, Canada and almost every country in the world. Most offer subscriptions and pay-as-you-go plans starting from $1.30 per month (including E911) and rates starting at 1 cent per minute to the USA and Canada. The OBiTALK web portal can be used to easily configure an account from any of these services on your OBi. Of course, OBi-to-OBi calls, using the OBi number printed on the device, remain completely free.

Your OBi Will Continue to Deliver Valuable Features and Awesome Savings
So, what does this mean if you currently use a phone connected to an OBi device configured with your Gmail account and the Google Voice service?  First, your OBi will continue working as it does today – with calls to your Google Voice number ringing the phone and use of Google’s service for connecting calls to the numbers you dial. Over the coming weeks, we will provide more detailed information, including easy to follow, step-by-step instructions on how you can keep using your OBi and your current phone number to keep your home phone bill extremely low, yet retain the power and flexibility that comes from using the OBi and your choice of services – even Google Voice.

Obihai, a leader in the VoIP communications industry, will continue to invest in new innovations and technology that will directly benefit the individuals, families and businesses using Obihai products.  Your OBi device is a very valuable investment and our mission remains to help you save money, make it more convenient to stay connected to your friends and family and ultimately empower you with greater choices for communication. 

Services and Service Providers – Many to Choose From
Here is an alphabetical list of some of the more popular Internet phone service providers that can be used with your OBi device:

OBiTALK Approved Service Providers (Requires OBiTALK.com Log-in):

OBiTALK Compatible Service Providers:

These service providers also provide phone numbers from almost every North American area code – even international phone numbers.  They also offer number porting, so you can keep your old phone number for use with your OBi.  What’s more, most of these service providers have E911 built-in to their calling plans. Also, you have many choices as to how you want to pay for your service – Pay-as-you-go, monthly, yearly subscriptions. 

More information about using the OBi with a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) service can be found here.

Thank you for choosing Obihai!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easy Emergency 911 Calling Service Set-Up for Your OBi Device (Discontinued)

Note:  New Sign-ups for this service are no longer available.  Please see the OBiTALK Approved Service Provider section of the OBiTALK portal to sign-up for a VoIP service with emergency calling service. Click Here for more information - Log-in Required.






Saturday, March 16, 2013

Using an OBi202 with an IP Phone as an IP-PBX Extension


 

What You Need:

As shown the above diagram above, you will need:
-              Two OBi202s. OBi #1 in a remote office; OBi #2 in the Main Office.
-              Administrative access to your IP PBX configuration: Asterisk, FreePBX, Elastix, 3CX, etc.

What This Can Do:

-              Use a SIP IP Phone as a remote IP-PBX extension without using a VPN.

How to Set-up:

Without loss of generality, we will reference the following basic setup:
-              Use a Cisco 50xG as the IP Phone in the Remote Office
-              Use EXT 1 on the remote IP Phone, with the extension 1001
-              Use ITSP B and SP2 on OBi #1 to configure a proxy for the remote IP phone
-              Use ITSP A and SP1 on OBi #2 to register with IP-PBX in the main office
                   OBi #2 acts as a voice gateway for OBi #1
-              On OBi #1, use VG3 to configure for the gateway served by OBi #2
-              OBi #1 has the OBi number 500 111 101
-              OBi #2 has the OBi number 500 222 202
-              IP-PBX has static LAN IP Address = 192.168.15.18 and listens at port 5060

On OBi #1, set up the following parameters:
-              ITSP Profile B/General/SignalingProtocol = SIP (default)
-              ITSP Profile B/SIP/Proxy = 127.0.0.1         (a dummy non-empty value)
-              ITSP Profile B/SIP/X_SpoofCallerID = yes (or checked)
-              VG3/AccessNumber = pp(ob500222202)
-              SP2/X_ServProvProfile = B
-              SP2/X_UserAgentPort = 5061 (default)
-              SP2/X_RegisterEnable = no (or unchecked)
-              SP2/AuthUserName = 1001
-              SP2/AuthPassword = AnyPhonePassword
-              SP2/X_Proxy = yes (or checked)
-              SP2/InboundCallRoute = {1001>:vg3}  
                    (Note: You can just add this rule to the beginning too.)
-              OBiTALK Service/InboundCallRoute = {>1001:SP2(1001@local_client)}
                    (Note: You can just add this rule to the beginning too.)
On OBi #2, set up the following parameters:
-              ITSP Profile A/General/SignalingProtocol = SIP (default)
-              ITSP Profile A/SIP/Proxy = 192.168.15.18
-              ITSP Profile A/SIP/X_SpoofCallerID = yes (or checked)
-              SP1/X_RegisterEnable = yes (or as required by the IP-PBX)
-              SP1/AuthUserName = 1001
-              SP1/AuthPassword = AnyPhonePassword (or as required by the IP-PBX)
-              SP1/InboundCallRoute = {>(1001):pp}
-              OBiTALK Service/InboundCallRoute = {1001>:sp1}

On the Remote IP phone behind OBi #1, set up the following parameters (or the equivalent on other phone models):
-              EXT 1/Proxy = 500111101.pnn.obihai.com:5061
-              EXT 1/User ID 1001
-              Ext 1/Password = AnyPhonePassword
-              EXT 1/Register Expires = 60
-              EXT 1/Register = yes
-              SIP/Send Resp To Src Port = yes

Notes:
You can add up to 4 SIP IP Phones behind an OBi202 in a remote office (e.g. OBi #1 in the last example) - one for each of the SPx service. To extend the last example, we can add another IP phone with the extension 1002 behind OBi #1, this time using SP3. The set-up for SP3 mirrors that of SP2 in the example, i.e. the same ITSP Profile B can be used for SP3 also. To make this work, just add the following rule to the OBiTALK/InboundCallRoute:  {>1002:SP3(1001@local_client)}

On OBi #2, configure another IP-PBX account for extension 1002, say on SP2 (set it up like SP1; the same ITSP Profile A can be used for SP2 also), and add the following rule to SP2/InboundCallRoute: {>(1002):pp},

...and the following rule to OBiTALK Service/InboundCallROute:  {1002>:sp2}

Note also that the same OBi #2 may be used to support up to 4 different remote IP phones, in the same or different remote offices.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Using an OBi202 w/ Analog Phones as an IP-PBX Remote Extension


 What You Need:

-              Two OBi202 devices. OBi #1 in the remote office and OBi #2 in the Main Office
-              One or two POTS phones to connect to OBi #1 as remote extensions
-              Administrative access to your IP PBX configuration: Asterisk, FreePBX, Elastix, 3CX, etc.

What This Can Do:

-              Use a POTS phone as a remote IP-PBX extension without using a VPN.

How to Set-up:

Without loss of generality, we pick the following basic setup:
-              Use ITSP B and SP2 on OBi #1 to configure a proxy for the remote IP phone
-              Use ITSP A and SP1 on OBi #2 to register with IP-PBX in the main office
                   OBi #2 acts as a voice gateway for OBi #1
-              On OBi #1, use VG3 to configure for the gateway served by OBi #2
-              OBi #1 has the OBi number 500 111 101
-              OBi #2 has the OBi number 500 222 202
-              IP-PBX has static LAN IP Address = 192.168.15.18 and listens at port 5060
-              Connect a POTS phone to OBi #1 Phone1 Port as remote extension 1001 for the IP-PBX

On OBi #1, set up the following parameters:
-              VG3/AccessNumber = pp(ob500222202)
-              PH1/OutboundCallRoute = {vg3}  (or just add this rule to the beginning)
-              OBiTALK Service/InboundCallRoute = {>1001:PH1} (or just add this rule to the beginning)

On OBi #2, set up the following parameters:
-              ITSP Profile A/General/SignalingProtocol = SIP (default)
-              ITSP Profile A/SIP/Proxy = 192.168.15.18
-              ITSP Profile A/SIP/X_SpoofCallerID = yes (or checked)
-              SP1/X_RegisterEnable = yes (or as required by the IP-PBX)
-              SP1/AuthUserName = 1001
-              SP1/AuthPassword = AnyPhonePassword (or as required by the IP-PBX)
-              SP1/InboundCallRoute = {>(1001):pp}
-              OBiTALK Service/InboundCallRoute = {1001>:sp1}

Notes:
To extend the last example, we can connect a second POTS phone to PHONE2 Port of OBi #1 for the extension 1002.  To make this work, just add the following rule to the OBiTALK/InboundCallRoute:  {>1002:PH2}

On OBi #2, configure another IP-PBX account for extension 1002, say on SP2 (set it up like SP1; the same ITSP Profile A can be used for SP2), and add the following rule to SP2/InboundCallRoute:  {>(1002):pp},

And also add the following rule to OBiTALK Service/InboundCallROute:  {1002>:sp2}

Note that the same OBi #2 can be used to support up to 4 different remote POTS phone extensions, in the same or different remote offices.