T-Mobile Broke SIP on my iPhone with IPv6 Update

A funny thing happened after my T-Mobile iPhone recently upgraded to iOS 10.3.1 … my SIP client stopped working!

It seems that the OS update came along with new carrier settings that assigned my device an IPv6 address.  In my case, the carrier setting version is now T Mobile 28.3.

After analyzing network captures from the switch side, we found that SIP UDP messages are no longer routed to the SkySwitch SIP proxy which has an IPv4 address.  But noticing that API calls made over HTTP from the same app were reaching the IPv4 web service, we concluded that TCP packets were being translated and routed correctly.   So we switched the SIP signaling to TCP and the IPv6 device was able to register with the IPv4 server.   Unfortunately, this allowed only basic two-way communication between the SIP client and the proxy.  SIP calling was still broken because the audio IP addresses and ports still referenced IPv6.  Specifically, the CONTACT header and RTP IP addresses in the SDP contain the IPv6 address.

A little research uncovered that T-Mobile has been rolling IPv6 to Android devices for a few years now .   According to this T-Mobile slide deck from 2014, they use an IPv6 transition mechanism called 464XLAT to allow communication between IPv6 devices and servers on the Internet that do not support IPv6.  But making the conversion work seamlessly for applications that reference IP address information in the payload (such as SIP) requires a client side translator called CLAT (this document from Juniper explains it).   To make a long story short, Android version 4.3 embedded a CLAT client into the operating system in 2013, but Apple never did.  As a result, T-Mobile has continued to serve IPv4  addresses to iPhone users … until last week.

I suppose we may never know why Apple has not employed CLAT in the operating system (thereby forcing SIP application developers to embed this functionality in the app), or why T-Mobile decided to force IPv6 on iPhone owners despite this limitation.  But the bottom line is that more than a few SIP applications have stopped working as a result (eg. here).    I hope that this blog will save other SIP users some time in  figuring out why.

In the meantime, we are working with our vendors to support IPv6 in this use case.




SkySwitch Launches Video Surveillance as a Service

We are happy to announce the addition of Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS)  as a new component of the SkySwitch service delivery suite.

Like almost everything else in the office, video surveillance is moving to the cloud.  Now,  SkySwitch resellers have the tools to capitalize on it.   Resellers can increase average revenue per user and highlight the unique video surveillance service as a point of differentiation.   It is an exciting new product that can be used to start a conversation, and set their service apart from other hosted PBX and UCaaS providers.

VSaaS is available now to all SkySwitch Resellers and can be fully managed from within the SkySwitch Reseller Dashboard.  To show how easy it is to add a new customer and camera to the service, here’s a short video.



SkySwitch Launches Video Surveillance as a Service

Toshiba Telecommunication Systems Division No More

The word on the street (and Reddit) is that the Toshiba Telecommunication Systems Division is closing shop effective immediately.   It seems that the telecom division – which was banking on momentum after launching a new product in February – could not escape the company’s ongoing financial difficulties (including the $500 Million bankruptcy of Westinghouse).  This means that customers running Toshiba’s IPEdge and Strata on-premise PBX systems  (such as the CIX40 and CIX100) will be facing uncertainty about ongoing support and service.  Toshiba dealers that have calendared upgrades and replacements will likewise be in a bind.     The news just adds to the tumult in the PBX dealer channel following the recent news of Avaya’s bankruptcy.

I bet that we will continue to hear this type of news from vendors that have traditionally sold on-premise PBX systems.  The bottom line is that premise-based telephony is going away – business owners are giving up on the CapEx model and moving to OpEx.  While the shift represents a sea-change for VARs in the channel, it also represents a great opportunity.  The core value of companies in the dealer channel is taking care of customers – Customer Service, Tier-One Support, Training and Maintaining your Business Relationships.   All of these skill can be leveraged by moving to the cloud, where the activities related to maintaining a platform, carrier services, quality of service issues, and dozens of other technical details can be outsourced to a White Label partner.

If you happened across this blog because you find yourself in this position, check out SkySwitch as a potential partner.


SkySwitch Partnership with 888VoIP Streamlines UCaaS Provisioning for Resellers

We are very pleased to announce that the SkySwitch Store now allows resellers to purchase fully-provisioned Yealink phones.  This new functionality, a result of our recent partnership with 888VoIP, integrates the SkySwitch Store with the Web Centrex API and the 888VoIP fulfillment and order processing back office.

Our goal for this integration is to simplify the workflow needed to bring hosted PBX and UCaaS seats online.  With it, both the PBX system and the phones can be configured for a specific user at the time of purchase, allowing the phones to be drop-shipped directly to a customer ready for use.  Not only does this greatly reduce the time and effort required for provisioning, but it also decreases the likelihood of human error by eliminating the need to key order information into multiple screens.

Here is a short video to show the integration in action.


Inbound calls to Canadian DIDs Failing

9:45 ET: The problem has been resolved by the underlying carrier.

9:00 ET: We have been made aware that inbound calls to certain Canadian DIDs are not completing. We have escalated this issue to the underlying carrier and will provide more information as soon as it is available.

System restart in DAL geo node for 95 seconds from 2017-02-13 11:28:03 – 2017-02-13 ET

We experienced a system restart in DAL geo node for 95 seconds from 2017-02-13 11:28:03 – 2017-02-13 11:29:29 ET. Any active calls at the start of this period were dropped. The NY Node was not affected, and devices with failover enabled should have re-registered immediately.

SkySwitch Announces Vectors 2017 Keynote Speaker Anand Buch, Co-Founder and CEO of NetSapiens

It is our honor to welcome Anand Buch, the visionary co-founder and CEO of NetSapiens, as the keynote speaker at the Vectors Reception.  Join us on Sunday, Feb 26th, at 6:30p.m. to hear Anand share  his outlook for the UCaaS industry and the unique place that NetSapiens holds in that space.  This is a rare opportunity to interact with the driving force behind NetSapiens, the platform that powers SkySwitch today and into the future.

If you have not yet registered for Vectors 2017, there’s till time.   Click here for event information.

Bringing Amazon Echo to Work

All the recent talk about the Amazon Echo got me wanting to put Amazon’s personal agent to work for the company PBX. Being able to control PBX features using voice commands is a nifty trick, and one that is easily accomplished by creating a Alexa Skill that connects to the SkySwitch Voice API.

This video shows our first attempt at doing this. In the video, I am asking Alexa to call Frank, a contact in my PBX account. The skill looks up the contact information for Frank, and then places the call for me by ringing my extension first and connecting to Frank after I answer.

Alexa skills can be used to voice enable almost any hosted PBX feature, such as forwarding calls, checking on the status of an extension, or adding participants to a conference call. We plan to expand on this concept and make voice commands an integrated part of our white-label UCaaS solution for SkySwitch Resellers.



100 Million Seats Up for Grabs

The January 19 announcement from Avaya that it will be seeking Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection creates an opportunity for hosted UCaaS resellers and service providers.

The company, which is being pulled under by $6B of debt and $1.7B of unfunded pension liabilities, currently supports about 100 million endpoints. Without a doubt, many current Avaya customers are now evaluating their options. Many who felt settled with an on-premise PBX may be reconsidering that position. Others that had decided to put off migrating to the cloud may well be ready to make the move sooner, rather than face the uncertainty that the coming months are sure to bring.

It’s still unclear whether Avaya will be able to emerge from bankruptcy with a customer base intact. When Nortel filed for bankruptcy in February 2009, the resulting uncertainty caused enterprise revenue to drop by 50%. Back then many Nortel customers migrated to Avaya. This time around, I predict that many of those customers will be migrating to the cloud.

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