Looking to use Google voice at home as your traditional home phone service without using some crazy Asterisk hack? You may even be fed up with the complexity of Asterisk anyhow, particularly if a simple voice gateway is all you have been using it for. There is an answer to this and it comes in the form of an inexpensive device called the Obi.
I stumbled onto the Obi in my third hour of Asterisk / Google voice troubleshooting, actually. Someone on a forum suggested the device, I read a bit more about it, and I ordered one. The device is sold on Amazon and can be found on Obi’s Amazon page HERE. The rest, including my Asterisk box, is now history. There are three units to choose from. The 100, 110 and the 202. I selected the 202 as it supports up to four service providers and includes two analog ports as well. The other devices support fewer providers but are similar otherwise. My main goal was to get Google Voice into my house and onto our traditional phone lines. This is a large percentage of deployment scenarios so information on performing this type of installation was plentiful.
After receiving my Obi, registering it via the Obi phone number and serial number I was ready to roll. The device links to a cloud based configuration page where you log into make changes and configure phone service. The Obi service itself assigns you a 9 digit phone number that can be used for free calling between obi devices and between Obi apps for smart phones.
I have been using the Obi for several weeks now and love it. As you might expect, however, I have gotten board with it. Google voice to my home phones is sweet but why not to my SIP phone? I have started to experiment and will be reporting as I have success and am able to reproduce it…
UPDATE Nov 25, 2012:
I was hacking around with my Obi 202 today and decided to try faxing over Google Voice to a land line fax. I connected the fax and was able to send with no trouble at all. Receiving was not problem either. The Obi 202 spec sheet mentions T.38 fax support but I was unable to find this option on any other Obi device feature list.
UPDATE Nov 3, 2015:
I have heard there was some changes in the Obi and support with Google voice. This unit is still supported as of me writing this an its working well in my case. Be sure to maintain support to get the latest software updates on the Obi as the API’s to Google voice change.