Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Is open source ready for VoIP?

Filed under
Linux

Open source in the enterprise is most widespread where end users don't see it - on specialised systems where the system only has to do one thing but has to do it well.

The best example is the Apache web hosting system, which has just under 70 per cent market share - but Linux is also widely deployed as an operating system for specialised security appliances.

There's one specialised device in an almost every office with more than a couple of staff - the private branch exchange or PBX, which handles incoming telephone calls, and distributes them to telephones on workers' desks.

These have typically been built on proprietary operating systems, from large companies such as Alcatel, Avaya, Nortel or Siemens. The arrival of IP-based PBX systems has allowed new entrants such as Cisco into the market. But a market already undergoing one revolution could well be fertile ground for another - the switch to open source.

The premise is certainly attractive. Instead of an expensive piece of proprietary hardware, you can get a generic server running a standard distribution of Linux such as Red Hat, and run a free open source PBX program, with no licence costs whatsoever.

The best-established open source telephony system is probably Asterisk, an open source initiative sponsored by Alabama-based company Digium. Another open source initiative, SIPfoundry, sponsored by Pingtel, was launched in Europe in May. The system costs around two-thirds of that for a proprietary PBX, at around £4,000 for a 20-user system. The major saving is in handset costs, just £50 for the Grandstream handsets.

As Eliot Robinson, executive vice-president of Sterling National Bank, says: "We knew we were interested in running voice over IP, and we were interested in open source because, obviously, the price was right."

The early adopters of open source telephony have certainly shaken things up. Last year Linux advocate John 'Maddog' Hall predicted that open source VoIP would be bigger than Linux, at least in revenue terms.

There's still some way to go before this comes true. But the arrival of such flexible, open and low-cost systems in a market dominated by high-margin proprietary products will certainly shake things up.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Companies should be on the hunt for gremlins in the open-source machine

Open-source software makes the computer code at its heart publicly accessible. This in turn means that anyone can update it or change it to suit their own needs. Closed-source, or proprietary software, remains the property of its original authors, who are the only ones legally allowed to copy or modify it. So Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is a closed-source product, but if you are reading this article on Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, you are making use of an open-source product. The authors of those browsers have made the source code available to you, and – if you were so inclined – you could view the code, copy it, learn from it, alter it and share it. But read to the end before you dive in. Read more

exiii Japan releases Open Source files for amazing 3D printed HACKberry Bionic Hand

Exiii, which consists of graduates from Sony’s manufacturing industry including Gentu Kondo, Hiroshi Yamaura, Tetsuya Konishi and by Akira Morikawa – have concluded the first iteration of their Open Source HACKberry bionic hand and have just released all of the design files online for others to use in creating their own bionic hands using a 3D printer and some basic hardware components - including an existing smartphone for the onboard computer. Read more

HP Laptops with Ubuntu 14.04 Available for Purchase Now, £100 Cash Back Limited Offer

HP Laptops with Ubuntu 14.04 Available for Purchase Now, £100 Cash Back Limited Offer Read more

Fedora 20 end of life on 2015-06-23

Greetings. This is a reminder email about the end of life process for Fedora 20. Fedora 20 will reach end of life on 2015-06-23, and no further updates will be pushed out after that time. Additionally, with the recent release of Fedora 22, no new packages will be added to the Fedora 20 collection. Please see https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FedUp for more information on upgrading from Fedora 20 to a newer release. Read more