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October 30, 2011


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I used Google Voice with Gizmo extensively, for years, until Google bought up Gizmo and.... shut them down. I'm at a loss to understand what they gained by acquiring them and then eliminating them. They were openly partnered, not hostile competitors. You can still find "Gizmo" listed as a choice of extension type in Google Voice's settings page. Perhaps they're making these dick moves to avoid the regulation that a full telephone provider requires? The web client is no substitute; requiring a mad scramble to get your headset on and switch to the Gmail page to click the answer button.

Google Voice sound quality has been top notch for me, even with AT&T's detestable "Pro" DSL service (we get only 2.24 of our 3Mbit/sec speed, and we're less than 6K' from the central office). I only get about 2 dropped calls a year, and I make and get calls almost every day.

While I can't connect directly to a Gizmo Project now, I still use my unlocked ATAs and land line phones. I'm hosting my own Asterisk-based PBX as a virtual machine, using a Google Voice web client emulator. Delay is usually imperceptible. The authors of the PBX package are a bunch of self-congratulating chuckleheads, but I've managed to resolve most of the issues they suggested were non-existent.

I too, am worried that Google's stagnation with GV means they want to shutter it, but I would be willing to become a paying customer if they made that a reasonable option. I strongly urge them to offer a SIP interface so I can continue using my collection of ATAs. Yes, I have heard of the Obi110 and other solutions, but what a hassle and expense that would be, when I have 4 perfectly good dual-line SIP ATAs. SIP is not a dead standard, and my existing hardware need not go to waste.

If GV disappoints me, I can just get a couple of the cheapest SIP trunks available, and emulate all of GC/GV's features right here in my desk-side server.


I would be interested to see when voice quality starts playing a big role here. We can all save money and get connected all these different ways. But, as Sprint's CTO said a while back, people still judge networks by dropped calls - VoIP or not.



GTalk is not an effective solution. For one, it does not support SIP standards. With their acquisition of Gizmo, I would have thought they would have used the services and infrastructure to make Google Voice, but there has been nothing except one less option to link your Google Voice number. And let's face it, VOIP on the computer is more of a novelty. People prefer to use the real telephone to make a telephone call - crazy huh?

Google Voice seems to have almost been afraid of using SIP. They will take your voice mail, and forward your calls. They integrated completely on Android/RIM and even as best as Apple will allow on iOS, but SIP seems to be the unwanted step child.

Google Voice even makes you jump through hoops to use +883 numbers which Gizmo supported, and allowed calls to that number for free. Google has the capabilities and resources to be a SIP provider, and be one of the big boys. I would even pay a small monthly fee for premium features like making free 411 calls (which Google killed that service) and have E911 support. And Google can provide GV users with a sip address ([email protected] can work), and support +883 (append @inum.net on the server end). Google has been rather stagnant with Google Voice, and only after years of customers complaining has MMS even been considered.

In the end, I just don't see Google Voice offering SIP capabilities forcing their customers to purchase services and/or hardware to fully integrate GV with SIP services.

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