Asterisk VoIP News

Monday, March 27, 2006

TERENA Secretariat Switches to VoIP/Asterisk

The TERENA Secretariat recently migrated its phone system to an open-source-based Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solution. VoIP is a technology for transmitting ordinary telephone calls over the Internet very cheaply or for free. TERENA had planned to replace the Secretariat phone system this year and wanted a system that is more reliable than the traditional systems and provides a number of new features.

VoIP Technology is just one of the areas that the TERENA Task Force on Voice, Video and Collaboration (TF-VVC) is involved with. TF-VVC promotes the ongoing development and testing of available collaboration technologies and services and defines, develops and tests new video, voice and collaboration services. It was felt that any new TERENA Secretariat phone system should support the new technologies being pioneered by the task force. Several options were considered and a decision was taken to opt for an open solution which was free from any vendor lock-ins and proprietary protocols.

TERENA decided to use the Open Source software package "Asterisk" as the heart of the new Private Branch Exchange (PBX). All legacy phones in the office were replaced with IP phones, which all use the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) to communicate with the PBX. The PBX itself still uses ISDN lines to make calls to people on ordinary phone networks but it is also hooked up to the Internet, so callers can use SIP to make (free) calls via the Internet.

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