Monthly Archives: July 2010

All About Asterisk & Skype for Asterisk

What is Asterisk? – The world’s most popular open source telephony project.  Under development since 1999, Asterisk is free, open source software that turns an ordinary computer into a feature-rich voice communications server.  Its flexible architecture lets you configure it as an IP PBX, a voicemail server, IVR server, VoIP gateway, call recorder, automatic call distributor and virtually any other voice-enabled application you can imagine.  Asterisk makes it simple to create and deploy a wide range of telephony applications and services.  Growing at a lightning pace, installations of open source telephony are now outpacing traditional industry players like Nortel, Avaya and Cisco (Eastern Management Group, 2008)

Why Open Source? – By harnessing the power of collaboration, open source projects like Asterisk tap the creative skills of a global pool of developers, testers and users.  The result is software that truly fits end user requirements, can be customized to a degree impossible with proprietary systems and offers a drastically lower total cost of ownership.

What can Asterisk do? – Created as a flexible toolkit, Asterisk can be configured to serve a wide variety of telephony applications including:

  • IP PBX
  • IVR (Interactive Voice Response)
  • Automated Attendant
  • Voicemail
  • Unified Messaging
  • Call Conferencing
  • Call Recording
  • ACD
  • VoIP Gateway
  • Speech Applications
  • Unified Communication

Who uses Asterisk? – Asterisk readily scales from very small deployments to massive multi-server clusters.  This unmatched flexibility has propelled it into virtually every business size, segment and industry.  Asterisk is particularly appealing in cost-conscious environments including education, government agencies and not-for-profit organizations.

Finally there’s a cost effective telephony solution for interoffice and worldwide communication.  Two telephony market leaders, Digium® and Skype™, have joined forces to develop Skype ™ for Asterisk®.  With Skype for Asterisk, you can make, receive and transfer Skype calls from within your Asterisk system using your existing hardware.  You’ll also be able to use Asterisk applications like call routing and phone menus to manage incoming calls.

Skype for Asterisk is an add-on channel driver for Asterisk based PBX systems.  Adding Skype for Asterisk to any Asterisk server enables complete access to the Skype community, including low cost PSTN access and free calling to more than 440 million registered Skype users.

Skype for Asterisk integrates with the Skype community.  There is no secondary piece of hardware to manage as Skype for Asterisk will run directly from an Asterisk based PBX.

Key Benefits

  • Save Money:
  • Free calling to more than 440 million Skype registered users worldwide directly from your Asterisk server
  • Great rates for worldwide inbound calling DIDs via online numbers (SkypeIn)
  • Call landlines and mobiles worldwide at great rates (SkypeOut)
  • Add Skype to your call routing tables to optimize global calling costs
  • Add a click-to-call button to your website or email so customers can quickly contact you
  • Allows customers to call via a local online number
  • Perfect for remote employees as the office is one click away with free calling
  • Communicate securely with free, high-quality, encrypted Asterisk-to-Asterisk calls using Skype

Key Features that are enabled by Skype for Asterisk
(Please note that paid-for products are available to the extent that you select and purchase them through Skype’s Business Control Panel)

  • Make Skype-to-Skype calls
  • Receive calls with online numbers (SkypeIn)
  • Calls to landlines and mobile phones
  • Make and receive multiple concurrent Skype calls from the same Skype Account
  • Make world-wide PSTN calls to landline and mobile phones (SkypeOut)
  • DTMF support for incoming and outgoing calls
  • Set and retrieve online status
  • Read Skype profile fields from incoming calls
  • Set privacy settings
  • Handle incoming Skype calls using Asterisk applications such as voicemail, ACD, MeetMe conferencing, etc.
  • Simultaneous access from both Asterisk and the Skype desktop client
  • Trunk calls between Asterisk servers over Skype
  • Supports G.711 and G.729 (included) codecs

Skype for Asterisk Support

Skype for Asterisk comes with 90 days of installation support from the time of purchase.  For subscribers of Open Source Asterisk and/or Asterisk Business Edition™ support, incidents can be used with Skype for Asterisk, as long as the subscription is current.

Rating 4.00 out of 5