VoIP providers use Asterisk?

Let’s say I’m green here… - take that into consideration when reading my question: Do VoIP providers use Asterisk as backoffice provisioning software, or are we only talking internal business and private use? I mean VoIP providers with maybe 5-10.000 individual private VoIP line users.

If I’m way off, please lead me to what VoIP providers actually use(?).


Good question! And suppose these VoIP providers use asterisk how do they handle inter clustering and load balancing? Has anybody got some nice docs about these issues?

Mark Spencer or perhaps it was someone else with a high profile in the Asterisk community said that he knows of several VERY large and well known players in VoIP that have Asterisk running for test purposes as a minimum. Perhaps more but he was unable to elaborate for legal reasons.

He also said that Vonage uses Asterisk for their Voicemail system. I don’t think a lot of people know that. You can’t get any bigger than Vonage.

I read in a newsgroup that the Free World Dialup, with almost 1/2 million users in some 200 countries, uses a combination of Asterisk and the SIP Express Router ([Open]SER).

I was today at the VON conference in Boston, having lunch next to the table where Mark Spencer and Jeff Pulver were sitting and went to ask them a couple of questions:

[b]to Mark: what about the Asterisk support for Dialogic boards?
to Jeff: do you use Asterisk in the FWD?[/b]

The press folks beat me to Jeff (he was hand in hand with senator John Sununu) and Mark -also busy handling the press corps- told me that we could talk tomorrow about the Dialogic support issue.


I’ve been attending VON this week as well. (Voice on the Network) Mark spoke at a lot of the conference sessions that I went to.

Ravi Sakaria of Voicepulse spoke there as well on a panel with Mark and mentioned that he uses Asterisk almost exclusively.

He also mentioned that they did some fairly extensive changes to the code to accomodate (among other things) larger SIP registration limits per server.

I was somewhat dismayed to hear that he has no plans to contribute the improvements back to the Asterisk project. (He cited the standard “we did it, it gives us a competitive edge, and we don’t want the other guy to have it” excuse)

I know that large providers are making use of the software. Almost every provider who spoke there so far has mentioned it. However, I wouldn’t expect great improvements to the code because of it. They’re going to keep their trade secrets to themselves.

Does anyone actually know what’s required to actually become a VOIP service provider? I take it you would require access to VOIP services globally so that you could charge cheap rates internationally.

Cheers, Ian

I’m no expert (yet! :wink:) - but I will start the list and then others can add and correct:

  1. Something to logically control the calls and where they go (name?) - e.g. Asterisk
  2. A SIP server - e.g. SER
  3. A SIP proxy - e.g. SER…please someone explain to me what exactly the proxy does!
  4. A registrar - e.g. SER…am I right in thinking that this one is where you define which phone/adapter (DID) is linked to which ordinary phone number (E.164)?
  5. Some kind of billing system/application - e.g. ??
  6. National and/or international termination agreement(s) with one or more ordinary’ phone provider(s). - they will throw your calls from your server to the ordinary phone system (PSTN). [/ul]

…that’s a beginning!

PS: Edited after I read more.

I found this place, which is a good start for getting an overview of what is required. It explains things more in ‘human language’.