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Asterisk IP PABX telephone system



Asterisk is a free open source software that has been under development since 1999. Asterisk is currently the world's most popular open source telephony project. It turns a regular computer into a feature-rich voice communications server while making it easy to create and deploy a wide range of telephony applications and services.
 
Originally designed for Linux, Asterisk now also runs on a variety of different operating systems including NetBSD, OpenBSD, FreeBSD, Mac OS X, and Solaris. A port to Microsoft Windows is known as AsteriskWin32.

Currently Asterisk has over 2 million users worldwide. It supports a wide range of telephony protocols and includes rich support for the handling & transmission of voice calls over traditional telephony interfaces including analogue lines, ISDN BRI lines and digital T1/E1 trunks. Asterisk is also supported by a wide range of VoIP (Voice over IP) protocols including SIP, IAX and H.323 among others. It also supports US and European standard signalling types used in business telephone systems which allows it to bridge between next-generation voice-data integrated networks and existing infrastructure.

Asterisk is released as open source under the GNU General Public License (GPL) and the software is available for download free of charge.

What Asterisk does:
Asterisk includes all the building blocks needed to create a PABX system, an IVR system or virtually any other kind of telecommunications solution. The software includes:

  • Drivers for various VoIP protocols
  • Drivers for PSTN interface cards and devices
  • Routing and call handling for incoming calls
  • Outbound call generation and call routing
  • Media management functions (record, play, generate tone, etc.)
  • Call detail recording for accounting and billing
  • Trans coding
  • Protocol conversion
  • Database integration for accessing information on relational databases
  • Web services integration for accessing data using standard internet protocols
  • LDAP integration for accessing corporate directory systems
  • Single and multi party call bridging
  • Call recording and monitoring functions
  • Integrated "Dialplan" scripting language for call processing
  • External call management in any programming or scripting language through Asterisk Gateway Interface
  • Event notification and CTI integration via the Asterisk Manager Interface (AMI)
  • Text to Speech synthesis in various languages and dialects using third party engines
  • Speech recognition in various languages using third party recognition engines

Uses for Asterisk

PABX
Asterisk can be configured as the core of an IP or hybrid PABX, switching calls, managing routes, enabling features and connecting callers with the outside world over IP, analogue lines and digital (T1/E1) connections.

Asterisk runs on a wide variety of operating systems including Linux, Mac OS X, OpenBSD, FreeBSD and Sun Solaris and provides all of the features you would expect from a PBX including many advanced features that are often associated with high end (and high cost) proprietary PBXs. Asterisk is designed for maximum flexibility and supports VoIP (Voice over IP) in many protocols and can interoperate with almost all standards based telephony equipment using relatively inexpensive hardware.

Gateway
Asterisk can also be used as the core of a media gateway, bridging the legacy PSTN to IP telephony technology. The modular nature of the software enables it to convert between a wide range of communications protocols and media codecs.

IVR
Asterisk can be used as an IVR, conference bridge, automated attendant, voicemail replacement, unified messaging and more. You can even use it for a telephony interface for your website.

Call Centre
Call centres around the world have been using Asterisk due to its flexibility. Call centre and contact centre developers have built complete ACD systems based on the software and it has also added new life to existing call centre solutions by adding remote IP agent capabilities, advanced skills based routing, predictive and bulk dialling and more.


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