Friday, February 23, 2007

all things VoIP

Second lecture session focused on VoIP including an introduction to and applications of Asterisk – the open-source PABX/softswitch software.
Held at Wananchi Online training room on 20 February.

The most "cool" application for asterisk appeared to be calling an askari automatically to "washa the generator" when the power went out. Jinis at work !!!
Some of the real-world kenyan applications are asterisk implemented at Gertrude's - the project will be covered in future sessions.

For the most definitive guide to open-source VoIP.
You can run through the Getting Started section first, or search for a specific topic. The site caters for all users – beginner to expert.

The Asterisk Handbook

An example of a quick way to get a US telephone mapped to an IP softphone (softphones are software that run on your PC and enable you to make VOIP calls)

Other notable sites include:
Asterisk (main site)
Digium (makers of asterisk)
Asterisk Now (easy peasy asterisk)
SER (Sip Express Router)
Skype (500m users)

To get started with asterisk … basically, it is composed of 3 parts:
- configuration of SIP extensions
- configuration of trunk extensions (E1s and international IAX links)
- configuration of the Dial Plan

sip.conf (used to create extensions)
Zapata.conf (used to configure trunks into the PSTN)
iax.conf (used to create international trunks)
extensions.conf (configure the Dial Plan)

The best way to learn as with all open-source apps – download, install & start hacking away … use the list for any questions you may come up with. Use the “search” feature on the voip-info wiki extensively !!!

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