Asterisk and Google Voice

We’ve been having significant issues with our VoIP provider (the people who supply us with telephone service) and for a while we’ve been without a working DID (phone number); we can call out, people can’t call in. I tried obtaining a new DID from other sources, but incoming DTMF tones were being blocked, which messes up our whole reason for having a phone number at all. In desperation I went back to our original provider and bought a new DID; it also blocked DTMF. Arrrrggghh. Even though it’s a service we’re paying for, the entire operation is run by a single dude who only answers questions when he feels like it. In this instance he probably assumed that the fault was at my end and simply ignored my requests for assistance. Customers are such a pain in the arse aren’t they?

But it’s not my configuration. I know, because I have wasted literally hours trying to test it. Also, it used to work fine with our previous DID.

One of the other options I’d been looking at was Google Voice – but there doesn’t seem to be a way to forward calls to a SIP address (unless you use a thing called “Gizmo5” which, since its acquisition by Google is not accepting new customers).

And then, only this morning, I discovered that Asterisk now supports Google Talk! All that was needed was to:

  1. recompile asterisk with the inclusion of the Gtalk channel driver
  2. set our google voice number to forward to Google Talk
  3. edit jabber.conf and gtalk.conf to connect to my Google Talk account

and it works! That’s a free, local DID, and another cheap outbound call provider.

It does worry me to give the Empire more support, but until they start producing crappy overpriced software and services that don’t work, I can’t help it.

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