Asterisk-based Telecom Service – 12 Million & Growing

By Julie Webb

Traditional Philippines boats

Nearly every city in the United States has dozens of telecom providers. Yet, on the opposite side of the globe, there are only three primary telecom networks providing all business and residential VoIP telephony. This includes service for SMS, Internet, and consumer-based mobile phone service for more than 7,000 islands, scattered over 115,000 square miles of the Republic of the Philippines. Perhaps even more interesting is that those providers are utilizing an Asterisk-based telecom framework to customize a voice communications platform, Missed Call Alert (MCA) service, initially handling 10,000 calls a day, from 100,000 subscribers.

Within two years, MCA grew to 12 million subscribers, making it the largest Asterisk-based service in the world. Even more impressive, projections show it likely to grow to 30 million over the next year.

MCA is essentially voicemail with notification, but because mobile providers in the Philippines do not offer voicemail as a standard service, MCA lets callers send SMS text messages, if the caller doesn’t answer. That text notifies the recipient the caller left a voice message and lets them go directly to that message without having to listen to all voice messages, including those of a lesser priority.

Engineered and customized by Glyph Studios, one of Digium’s preferred software development partners, Asterisk provided the flexibility to customize a solution. This criteria was as important as cost savings, which were already significantly lower than big box options. Marketed across the Philippines as more convenient and cheaper than standard voicemail services, Philippine carriers like it because they don’t have to pay Nokia’s licensing fee for voicemail boxes. And customers only pay a nominal fee when they retrieve their MCA messages.

Glyph Studios currently has eight different services running on the Asterisk platform, but scaling Asterisk to handle millions of calls a day was a challenge. Fortunately, Glyph met David Duffett, Digium’s Open Source Community Project Director and the public face for the Asterisk project. The group first met Duffett at an Asterisk Advanced Training conference in Malaysia in 2013, and quickly jumped at the opportunity to hire him as a consultant. As a leading expert on Asterisk-based systems around the world, Duffett was an ideal match to help with Glyph’s plans to re-engineer the current configuration, utilize Digium PRI cards, and build a SIP infrastructure on the backend to make expansion easier and less expensive in the future. To find out how they made the solution a reality, read the complete details of the Glyph Studios implementation.

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About the Author

Julie Webb

Julie Webb is the Marketing Communications (MARCOM) Director at Digium. She joined the company in January 2005 after spending many years in the telecommunications industry. Julie and her team are responsible for corporate branding and events, most notably AstriCon.

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