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Asterisk 15: Revolutionizing Open Source Communications

October 03, 2017
By Maurice Nagle - Web Editor

In the world of open source communications, Asterisk (News - Alert) has long been a staple. Each new iteration enhancing the platform, offering developers and users access to a modern, open and feature rich solution. Taking place this week is AstriCon, the perfect stage for Digium (News - Alert) to dare to go further, and it is.

Today, Digium unveiled Asterisk 15, a next generation open source communications platform equipped to enable customization, and exceptional audio and video communications.  

"Today's communications environment is changing. Businesses need to communicate with more than audio; they want video conferencing and collaboration as well," said Matthew Fredrickson, project lead for Asterisk with Digium.

Asterisk 15 brings together Web-based communications and legacy telephony solutions to offer developers a sandbox ready for play. The new release adds multi-party selective forwarding unit (SFU) video conferencing to the Asterisk audio conferencing solution, ConfBridge. In doing so, users can leverage WebRTC for video conferences; in addition to integrating with WebRTC clients, the new release allows one to integrate with audio-only participants regardless of their communications technology, as well as IoT connected SIP video endpoints.

In order to deploy this WebRTC ready release, Digium is using tip of the spear technology – Namely, RTCP Multiplexing, BUNDLE and Unified Plan. In leveraging Unified Plan, Asterisk 15 becomes the first platform to do so, a recent offering from IETF supported by Microsoft, Mozilla (News - Alert), Google and others for multimedia sessions in Session Description Protocol (SDP). By putting RTCP Multiplexing and BUNDLE to work, alleviates much of the headaches in deployment, as they allow for video and audio traffic to maneuver NAT routers and firewalls.

"Asterisk has always been the ideal developer toolkit for building audio conferencing solutions that cross the chasm between telephony protocols. Asterisk 15 now adds enhanced video conferencing and screen sharing capabilities with WebRTC-capable endpoints, eliminating the need to integrate additional technology solely for video. This simplifies the communications infrastructure, reducing the need to implement and support multiple independent applications," Fredrickson continued.

The future of communications is quite clear – open source, feature rich and real time. Cloud communications and WebRTC coupled together create a formidable forward looking vision, a vision that I expect Digium and its Asterisk platform to play a leading role.

How is your business communicating with colleagues and clients?

Edited by Mandi Nowitz

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