Asterisk Around the World

By Steve Sokol

What can be found in more than 170 countries and has logged millions of downloads? Asterisk! The leading open source communications platform, Asterisk has provided telephony solutions for companies of all types and sizes, including the likes of Google, IBM and Yahoo!  Yet, not everyone realizes the global footprint that Asterisk and Digium have, today. So, we thought it might be interesting to share a few success stories from across different parts of the globe.

Consider this Asterisk success story from the City of Schoten, Belgium:

Around the world, organizations are conscious about IT spending and are continually evaluating ways to slash their operating expenses while keeping up with the latest technological trends. The City of Schoten, a city of 33,000 inhabitants located in the heart of Belgium, recently migrated from 15 disparate telephone systems to an open-source PBX solution to reduce operating and maintenance costs and gain greater functionality to meet their telephony needs. Moving to Digium’s Asterisk, the organization expects to save thousands of dollars annually, while reaping the rewards of a robust IP-based telephony solution.

Managing Information Communication Technology (ICT) needs for the city are three full-time personnel who maintain technology solutions for 400 staff members spread across 15 locations. With over 200 desktops and 20 servers, ICT personnel also need to maintain the telephone systems across the various municipal locations.

“Throughout our locations, we have an old telephone system that is very difficult and expensive to maintain,” explains Jan Verlinden, system engineer and IT manager for the city. “Every year we are growing and need to add new telephones. When I examined the costs associated with maintaining and managing our telephone system, I knew there had to be a better, less expensive solution.”

Verlinden knew they could meet their goals of reducing operating costs by moving to a system-wide VoIP solution that would use a computer, rather than a telephone line, to meet their communication needs. By migrating to a VoIP solution, the city would immediately eradicate any internal communication charges and significantly reduce overall maintenance expenses while gaining increased performance. Click here to keep reading and see how much the City of Schoten saved with Asterisk.

There’s also this great story of Open Source success from the City of Pforzheim in Germany:

Nestled in the southwest corner of Germany, at the gate to the Black Forest, is the City of Pforzheim. A region known for its highlands, scenery and woods, Black Forest Cake and traditional cuckoo-clocks, Pforzheim now lays stake to another claim: contributor of German language prompts to the Asterisk open source IP-based telephony system.

Motivated by the movement to Voice-Over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP), the City of Pforzheim’s Director of Internet Technology, Andreas Hurst, wanted to implement a rich functionality based VoIP telephone server to support the people in the municipality’s network. Choosing Digium’s Asterisk, the City of Pforzheim is reaping the benefits of a hybrid TDM and packet voice PBX solution complete in open source software.

“The motivation to use Asterisk is that we can very easily take advantage of VoIP technology,” said Hurst. “We started with a simple installation on Red Hat Linux to Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) phones. When we saw how stable and how much functionality the Asterisk solution provided us, we wanted to implement it across our organization.”

Supporting nearly 120,000 citizens, the City of Pforzheim employs approximately 2000 individuals spread among 100 offices throughout the city. With a networking infrastructure of copper cables and fiber channels across the area, getting high-speed connections is quite easy – and the motivation to take advantage of new VoIP technologies.

“We wanted to exploit our existing infrastructure and be able to provide VoIP services as inexpensively as possible,” said Hurst.
“Asterisk has the features one would expect of a large PBX system – it communicates seamlessly between VoIP and the public telephony network using any of the most popular codecs and protocols and is the most leading open source project in the telecommunications server area.”  Click here to keep reading and find out how Pforzheim achieved their VoIP goals using Asterisk.

Of course, these are just the tip of the iceberg. Want to hear about more creative VoIP solutions using Asterisk – and get inspired to conquer your own project? Download this free Asterisk ebook. Or, visit to learn more and watch the popular introductory video, “Say Hello to Asterisk.”


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There Are 2 Comments

  • Mihaela says:

    This is great. We need more case studies like this. It would be much better if the case studies were not presented in Flash, text is just not readable, nor it will be indexed by Google.

  • Numan Khan says:

    Asterisk is simply great invention by Digium & Mark Spencer. I love all people working at Digium to further improve the Asterisk and give the best ever telephone system to the world. Wish you always a best luck.
    Numan Khan
    Asterisk Professional Dubai UAE

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About the Author

Steve Sokol

Steven Sokol is co-founder and product lead for Respoke, Digium's real-time communications (WebRTC) platform and continues to serve as the director of strategic programs at Digium (aka entrepreneur in residence), identifying and capitalizing on emerging technologies.. He has previously served as the Asterisk marketing director and as a product manager. He joined Digium in the summer of 2007 when his startup was acquired. Steve co-founded both AstriCon, the annual Asterisk user conference, and the Asterisk Bootcamp training program. He lives in Kansas City.

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