I looked on the Asterisk official web site however I’m kind on confused on an important issue.
My question is what business phones are Asterisk suppose to use?
Are we talking about only Analog phones or soft(computer) phones?
What about actually business phones with message waiting lights, hot buttons to indicicate when other people are on the phone or when you have a park call, etc…
Who makes the business digital phones for this system or can you only use analog phones?
Do the phones need to connect via Ethernet cat 5 cable(RJ-45) or regular phone cat 3 cable(RJ-11)?
Can you use your existing phone from your old PBX and somehow have Asterisk match its proprietary signal?
Please let me know how the physical phones are suppose to connect into this system because I’m really confused on this issue.
There’s a whole load of information on phones at:
as well as almost all the information about asterisk you’ll need.
You can use ethernet connected phones without any other equipment - other than the asterisk server and the local net, of course. They are probably your best bet.
You can use analogue (standard telco) phones - but you’ll need either an ATA (analogue telephone adapter) to connect them to your LAN, or an FXS card in your computer.
You can use softphones, but the voice quality may not be all that good. My experience with softphones vs hardphones is that the hardphone gives totally usable audio quality, whereas every softphone i’ve tried gives really bad sound. This may be due to the computer hardware i’ve used and it’s possible that you could get usable quality with a softphone, i don’t know.
I’m just surprise there is no mention of the compatible phones such as a list or link to other manufacturers on their web site official web site.
It makes thing pretty tough on someone trying to figure how how it all comes together.
Well, yes, maybe. But there is a link to the voip-info asterisk wiki on the support page - a long way down it admittedly. I guess digium want to get as much money form commercial support as possible and not encourage everyone to support themselves. Fair enough, i suppose, seeing as they’re running a business.
[quote=“Project_Wizzard”]I’m just surprise there is no mention of the compatible phones such as a list or link to other manufacturers on their web site official web site.
It makes thing pretty tough on someone trying to figure how how it all comes together.[/quote]
I feel your pain Wiz. There is some info on compatibility at the Asterisk wiki but at best they are just loose guidelines. Welcome to the world of open source.
What I have done is to look at what some of the bigger players are using. The Polycom phones have been around for awhile and seem to be the most popular right now. You need to decide for yourself it they fit your requirements. The one thing I don’t like about Polycom is that they currently do not officially support Asterisk so you can’t expect them to help you or anyone else if you run into any issues. There have been a lot of new phones introduced recently at all kinds of price points that do support Asterisk. This is where it get’s murky. I have been struggling with it for months.
There is so much activity in this area right now that it is probably going to be awhile till the better recent products start to stand out. I have resorted to buying phones, testing them myself, and posting my findings on the Asterisk Wiki. It can get expensive pretty fast though.