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Asterisk

Posted on Aug 20 in O-TELby Press OfficerPrint

Asterisk is a software implementation of a telephone private branch exchange (PBX) originally created in 1999 by Mark Spencer of Digium. Like any PBX, it allows attached telephones to make calls to one another, and to connect to other telephone services including the public switched telephone network (PSTN) and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services. Its name comes from the asterisk symbol, “*”.

Features
The Asterisk software includes many features available in proprietary PBX systems: voice mail, conference calling, interactive voice response (phone menus), and automatic call distribution.

To attach traditional analogue telephones to an Asterisk installation, or to connect to PSTN trunk lines, the server must be fitted with special hardware. Digium and a number of other firms sell PCI cards to attach telephones, telephone lines, T1 and E1 lines, and other analog and digital phone services to a server.
Perhaps of more interest to many deployers today, Asterisk also supports a wide range of Video[2] and Voice over IP protocols, including SIP, MGCP and H.323. Asterisk can interoperate with most SIP telephones, acting both as registrar and as a gateway between IP phones and the PSTN. Asterisk developers have also designed a new protocol, Inter-Asterisk eXchange (IAX2), for efficient trunking of calls among Asterisk PBXes, and to VoIP service providers who support it.

By supporting a mix of traditional and VoIP telephony services, Asterisk allows deployers to build new telephone systems, or gradually migrate existing systems to new technologies. Some sites are using Asterisk servers to replace proprietary PBXes; others to provide additional features (such as voice mail or voice response menus, or virtual call shops) or to reduce costs by carrying long-distance calls over the Internet (toll bypass).

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asterisk_PBX

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