Why Doesn't Google Allow Forwarding to SIP URLs?
The Wasted Potential of Google Voice
For years now, Google voice has provided an excellent service to telephone users seeking to disassociate themselves and their devices with the telephone numbers provided by their carriers. It allows people to use a multitude of devices with the same number and change their carriers without worrying about their contacts being broken. In addition, the extra voicemail features, the "do not disturb" functionality, and a host of other provisions make Google voice an invaluable tool and one which cannot be matched by any free service on the Internet today.
But the tragedy of this is that it is capable of so much more! To tell the truth, Google voice has the potential to truly revolutionize the telephone service as we know it today. To make matters worse, we know that the technology exists and that Google has been toying around with the idea. To add salt to the wound, the functionality in question doesn't use any additional resources and can presumably be turned on with the flip of a switch. It's not an exaggeration to say that the VoIP world would be transformed tremendously.
What is this magical functionality? Merely this – the ability to forward calls to an SIP address instead of telephone number.
Carriers Blocking SIP Forwarding?
As of now, there is still a roundabout way to get your Google voice calls transferred to an SIP address. Using a service like IPKall, users can configure the forwarding system appropriately. But based on my experiments, this introduces a bit of lag which is very noticeable on VoIP systems. In addition, it stands to reason that the greater number of links the call has to pass through, the greater chance of problems such as packet loss, jitter etc. It would be great if Google could merely introduce a field for an SIP address in its Google voice forwarding settings.
Us VoIP users had a brief glimmer of hope last year when Google seemed to enable this functionality briefly before taking it off. What possible reason can they have for not going through with it? In the fog of our ignorance, my only possible explanation is that it would make the carriers burst a blood vessel. And since Google's Android operating system requires the carriers to maintain its market penetration, this is not a strategic move at the moment. Yet another example (if I'm right) that carriers are hindering innovation in the telecom space today.
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