What is Asterisk ?
Asterisk, the world’s most popular open source communications project, is free, open source software that converts an ordinary computer into a feature-rich voice communications server. Asterisk makes it simple to create and deploy a wide range of telephony applications and services, including IP PBXs, VoIP gateways, call center ACDs and IVR systems.
Asterisk is released as open source under the GNU General Public License (GPL), and it is available for download free of charge. Asterisk® is the leading open source telephony project and the Asterisk community has been ranked as a key factor in the growth of VoIP.
Asterisk As A PBX
Asterisk can be configured as the core of an IP or hybrid PBX, switching calls, managing routes, enabling features, and connecting callers with the outside world over IP, analog (POTS), 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’s architecture is designed for maximum flexibility and supports Voice over IP in many protocols, and can interoperate with almost all standards-based telephony equipment using relatively inexpensive hardware.
Asterisk can work with PRI Line in Gujarat, India ?
Yes, when i was thinking for some solution for Sales Team, It was difficult to resolve that how to setup the call management solution, as such there are not many implementation on Asteriesk in Gujarat and specially in Gandhinagar. Finally i get a confirmation from the Technical Head, Airtel, Gujarat that PRI line is the solution which can work with Asterisk, I am going to share my implementation experience on the configuration part of Asterisk with PRI Lines, Now i can say that It is working with AIRTEL, TATA, BSNL all PRI lines. Configuration part are almost sames for all the providers as there are not much configuration required from the providers. There are prerequisite before proceeding for implementation of Asterisk with PRI Line, the configuration which i am explaining here its for 30 users.
- Dual core or I3 Processor based PC (good to have branded PC HP, IBM, Wipro, Etc..)
- Digital PRI Card – up to 32 channel – (Required for outbound calls)
- IP Phones or Soft Phones
- High Speed LAN
- PRI Line – AIRTEL, TATA, BSNL – (Required for outbound calls)
- Asterisk ISO with Free PBX Administration, or visit download page for more options.
So, if you plan to setup outbound / inbound calls you must required PRI Card and PRI Line. The configuration is in 3 parts as below
- Configure Hardware
- Configure Trunks and Outbound Routs
- Configure Inbound calls
- Configure Internals Extensions
Once you are ready all required hardware and software, install the hardware on board, mostly its fits in PCI Express slot, if card detect correctly on the OS you should get the configuration of the card in Other options as below.
Once hardware detected, attach your PRI line to PRI card, and first things you have to configure it trunk line which is based on your line type you can connect to another asterisk server too, in order to connect to the PRI line we have to add and configure ZAP trunk. Look at my configuration below, your number of PRI line with std code should be written in rectangular bracket. You can also configure Skype account as a trunk too.
If you have multiple trunk lines, one for local calling, another for international calling and third one to connect with your another office. it is very important to configure the outbound lines with the dial pattern rules. configuration for outbound routs defines that which trunk will going to used based on the number pattern. This is a fantastic logic to save the cost on local and international calls. As in my case i have only one trunk line there is not need to define multiple outbound rules, I have just define single routs that allows calling to all destination.
You can configure internal extensions, as and when you required. In order to use those extensions you must required either soft phone or IP phone (hardware based). But it really a great platform based on your existing wire network can save lots of cost while adding new extensions any where in office. This solution can be used in the sometimes in Digital Home too.
Important parameters are Display Name, Extension number, Secret which required to connect to the server, there are many things we can do with the extensions configurations like, CID Numbers, Call Recording or Call forwarding, and Voice Mail. Enjoy the free software based PBX. If you need support please visit Asterisk Forum.