GoIP? What the %^&* is a GoIP?

HyberTone-GoIP-SIP-to-GSM-GatewaySometimes I see technical terms that cause me confusion. So it was when I saw Matt (@calltopology) tweet about “Using a GoIP with A2Billing for outbound calls.” My initial reaction was , “WTF is a GoIP? It sounds a bit like a disease.”

Of course, it isn’t a disease. Clicking a little further, I found that Matt has recently been exploring the use of a HyberTone GSM-toSIP gateway device. That company brands their GSM gateways with the rather obtuse “GoIP” monicker. I suppose it was predicated upon FoIP, another persistent term that I find to be something of an abomination.

My own language preferences aside, Matt does a nice job of describing how to setup the GSM gateway with his preferred Asterisk distro and billing solution. What he describes is a bit like the project that I undertook, so long ago now, when integrating a Portech SIP-to-GSM gateway with a local instance of Asterisk.

Back then SIP-to-GSM gateways were still relatively rare. Most of the affordable interface hardware terminated into an analog line jack, requiring an FXO interface to bring it into Asterisk.

It seems that there are a lot more options for SIP-to-GSM hardware, from freestanding boxes line those from Portech, HyberTone or 2N, to Sangoma W400 modular add-in cards for use within an Asterisk server. I see that the single-port GoIP gateway is available from Amazon for $290 or on Ebay, shipped from China, for $117.99.

The price on such things seems to have dropped by over half in the years since I undertook the project. That very fact may bring a single port gateway into the realm of mad money for some users.

  • jamesbody

    I am not sure what advantages this unit offers over a standard Huawel GSM/3G USB dongle driven by Asterisk with chan_dongle? Any ideas?

    • mjgraves

      James,

      I have not experience of that device so I cannot say. Five years ago when I installed the Portech gateway such devices were not available. I see it listed on Amazon for under $30. It’s certainly cheaper, and likely a good solution for a few ports.

      Do you know someone who has experience using such a device in this manner. It would be nice to know what’s possible..and what isn’t. Knowing where the edge lies is usually the important thing

      Michael.

      • Joe Talbot

        I bought one of these a year ago to evaluate, and was pleasantly surprised. To provide perspective, I’m a broadcast engineer with a background in Talk Radio. I despise cell phones, because of the poor quality (at least here in the US). I hate the G.729 codec. I do a lot of work with various PBX and endpoint products.

        The instructions were sparse, but setting it up was very obvious and the unit performed well (audio and signalling). This would be good in an emergency situation, or in a country or location where good IP or wireline service is unavailable.

        • mjgraves

          I expect that such a device might be useful to someone setting up a Village Telco wifi mesh voip network. It would give them an inexpensive cellular trunk for emergency purposes.

    • TechieTech

      The reason is the same as in the advantages of ISDN gateway vs. internal ISDN card: No dependency on driver and asterisk versions, no upgrade trouble due to that, free placement away from the server (where radio reception is good). The GoIPs (1, 4, 8 ports) have improved their firmware considerably over time, meaning that you get a lot for the low price.