Chapter 27. Asterisk: A Future for Telephony

Table of Contents

The Problems with Traditional Telephony
Closed Thinking
Limited Standards Compliancy
Slow Release Cycles
Refusing to Let Go of the Past and Embrace the Future
Paradigm Shift
The Promise of Open Source Telephony
The Itch That Asterisk Scratches
Open Architecture
Standards Compliance
Lightning-Fast Response to New Technologies
Passionate Community
Some Things That Are Now Possible
Legacy PBX migration gateway
Low-barrier IVR
Conference rooms
Home automation
The Future of Asterisk
Speech Processing
Speech recognition
High-Fidelity Voice
The challenge of videoconferencing
Why we love videoconferencing
Why videoconferencing may never totally replace voice
Unified Messaging
Too much change, too few standards
Toll fraud
VoIP spam
Fear, uncertainty, and doubt
Bottleneck engineering
Regulatory wars
Quality of service
Tailor-made private telecommunications networks
Low barrier to entry
Hosted solutions of similar complexity to corporate websites
Proper integration of communications technologies

Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

Winston Churchill

We have arrived at the final chapter of this book. We’ve covered a lot, but we hope that we have made it clear that this book has merely scratched the surface of this phenomenon called Asterisk. To wrap things up, we want to spend some time exploring what we might see from Asterisk and open source telephony in the near future.

When we wrote the first edition of Asterisk: The Future of Telephony, we confidently asserted that open source communications engines such as Asterisk would cause a shift in thinking that would transform the telecommunications industry. In many ways, our belief has been proven correct. While the telecom industry still has much evolving to do, Asterisk has played a key role in fomenting a shift in thinking that has affected the entire industry.