Perhaps this subject is off-topic for this site, since it’s not related to mobile service. It’s phone service-related, so maybe it’s within bounds.
Since 2015, I’ve used an Obi200 VoIP device connected with Google Voice for landline phone service. Come December, Polycom will no longer be supporting the device. The device will work with Voice until Google decides to change its protocols, which could happen at any time. Too bad – I’ve had almost free phone service all these years (I pay a small fee for 911 service).
Is there a recommendation for an alternative device and provider that will give similar service? I’m told that there are no current devices that work with consumer Google Voice, which uses nonstandard protocols.
I’m using this device https://www.cell2jack.com/
to connect my cellphone to my home phone via Bluetooth. It works better with cell phones with the latest Bluetooth updates. Recommended by @BillG a couple years ago
No need to give up on the OBi 200 just yet. It’s true Poly (now owned by HP) has marked the OBi 200 series ATAs for end of life as of December 2023. That, however, does not mean the devices will stop working. Here’s what it does mean:
No more firmware updates
The end of the OBiTalk provisioning portal
The first is, in and of itself, not a big deal until and unless Google makes some change to GV that would require new OBi firmware for compatibility. Absent any such changes from Google, GV is expected to continue working on OBi 200 series devices indefinately.
The second presents some potential challenges relevant to GV. The OBiTalk portal is the only officially supported method of provisioning GV on OBi 200 series devices.
The OBiTalk portal is, however, not required to provision SIP based VoIP service providers other than Google Voice. OBi ATAs have a local web interface for provisioning as well. You would access the local interface by entering the OBi’s IP address into a web browser running on another device (preferably a computer or tablet) connected to the same network as the OBi. If you don’t know the OBi’s IP address on the network, get it as follows:
Dial *** from a phone connected to the OBi for access to the OBi’s IVR
Select option 1
There is alternative firmware for OBi 200 series devices that allows for using the local interface to provision GV. Much more about that is found in this long DSLR topic:
tl;dr: Modified firmware is available for download here:
You would then need to contact the author of the DSLR topic for instructions to use the local interface for GV provisioning. Please note, I’ve not yet attempted flashing modified firmware to an OBi device and haven’t decided whether to do so. Please also note, the modified firmware is based on official OBi firmware and won’t help if Google makes changes that would require new firmware.
As for alternative VoIP service, the “big 3” of DIY VoIP are Anveo, Callcentric and VoIP.ms. Of the three, Anveo’s service has the steepest learning curve in terms of setup. My preference is Callcentric. Others swear by VoIP.ms. Either would be a good choice.
If you decide to use alternative VoIP service on the OBi, you would be able to forward your GV number to a number on the alternative service. You would also be able to spoof Caller ID on outbound calls using the alternative service to show your GV number. In other words, to those with whom you exchange calls, nothing would seem to have changed.
The OBi 202 was replaced by an OBi 1062 IP Phone gifted to me by friends at RingTo as part of a beta test back in the day. For those not familiar, RingTo was a now defunct sister service to Republic Wireless when both were a part of Bandwidth.com.
I’ve requested the instructions also referenced in a previous post for manually configuring GV via the OBi’s local web interface. I’ve already used the local interface to setup Callcentric and Localphone. The nice thing about OBi ATAs is their ability to use multiple service providers on a single device (in the case of the OBi 202 up tp 4 providers).
Presuming I receive the instructions for local GV setup, we’ll see how that goes.
Of course, if your current OBi setup is working, there’s no need to play around with it and I suggest you not do so. This is just an experiment made possible by the fact my OBi 202 is an extra device.
In case anyone cares, I have successfully provisioned GV on my OBi 202 using the local interface. Doing so requires both installing modified firmware on the OBi and mucking around with command line tools on a computer. The process isn’t terribly difficult but does require attention to detail and patience.
The above said, if you’ve already provisioned GV using the OBiTalk portal and it’s working, there is no reason to engage in this. That the OBiTalk portal is no longer working for OBi 200 series devices is irrelevant. Barring changes from Google, currently configured GV service on one’s OBi will continue to work.
If at some point Google makes changes on their back end, it’s likely that would break manual configuration as well.
The scenario manual configuration addresses would be if something happened to one’s OBi hardware itself (such as the need to factory reset). Manual provisioning would restore GV service (again so long as Google doesn’t make changes).