Getting Asterisk to work with Nortel Norstar Plus

I am a newbie to the phone systems in general but have a general knowledge of how things work along with many years of linux experience. Currently we have a Nortel Norstar Plus PBX at one of our schools in whoch we have phones in the offices and 1-3 classrooms. Before ripping the Nortel system out the we have to run a pilot to make sure that we have an approval from the principal and school admins. I would like to add about 5 phones using the asterisk system and have the nortel system forward the call to them with extensions. Is this possible. Is there a better way to implement a demo of the asterisk program. Any input would be appreciated regarding phones, switches and cards. Thanks for all you help

I won’t coment on the interoperability of Asterisk and a Nortel PBX. I will leave that for somebody else.

But since you are trying to deploy Asterisk in a school, I will ask you to think long and hard about 911 services.
You need to be sure that anybody can dial 911 at any time and from any phone… even if your Asterisk server has failed.
And presumably it needs to work for years to come… even if you are not there to support it.

I am not trying to discourage you… I am just trying to make sure you don’t leave out important details from your plan.



We are a private High School and are in the middle of a transition from a Norstar MICS 6.1 to an Asterisk PBX.

As for the 911 emergency call, an Asterisk PBX is like any other PBX system. As long as your system is protected with an emergency power supply and some of some of the phones, you are all set…

In regards with the interconnection between Asterisk and Norstar, here some facts :

1- One PRI (24 channels) is connected to the Asterisk server;
2- Connection between Asterisk and Norstar done with a PRI;
3- We are using a 4 digits extension plan;

So, if you are interested, I can give you more infos…


Thanks Danrav. I am new to this and any additional info would be greatly appreciated. What you would you recommend as far as admin phones, classroom phones and network switches? Are you using asteriskNOW?


Also any info you can give me on the nortel config would be great. Thanks so much.


We are running Trixbox CE 2.4.
Our server is a HP 7800, 2G Ram, 2 disk 160 G Raid 1.
We have 1 card Sangoma A102D and 1 card Sangoma A200 with 2 FXS cards.

For the admin phones we chosed Polycom 650. For the class room, nothing is decided at this point. We are testing soft phones solution.

Here is some of the problems we are living :

1- Impossible to transfer a voice message from a voice system to another. Mostly problematic on the Norstar since with Asterisk we can receive the voice message in our Outlook account.
2- Impossible for the receptionist on the Norstar system to dial a long distance call and transfer it on the Asterisk system. Since the teachers are restraint from doing long distance call, we had to create a special route with PIN on the Asterisk. So each teacher will have a PIN and use it to make a long distance call.
3- No Caller Id when a Norstar call an Asterisk extension.
4- No Caller Id when a Norstar transfer an outside call to an Asterisk extension.
5- Since we don<t have any analog line, we had problem with our faxs. But now, since we are using the Sangoma cards with their timing solution, every thong is OK.

As far as configuration is done, that is easy enough.

What kind of setup are you thinking about lines ?