Digium Releases New Version of Asterisk

Digium today announced the release of Asterisk 1.8, a significant update to the software that developers, integrators, resellers, and others around the world use to create customized, feature-rich, and cost-effective business phone systems.

Asterisk 1.8 includes more than 200 enhancements, including new security features, integration with IPv6 and extensive additions to ISDN-BRI functionality. Asterisk 1.8 is designated as a long-term support release, indicating four years of support from Digium. 

Technologists working with small and large businesses, government agencies and municipalities, call centers, and carriers have downloaded Asterisk more than 2million times in the past 12 months. It can be used to create nearly any type of phone system or voice application, with some of the most popular uses being IP PBXs, voice gateways, voicemail, interactive voice response (IVR), conference bridges, and automatic call distributors (ACD) for call centers.

“Asterisk 1.8 is the first long-term support release since version 1.4,” said Russell Bryant, Digium’s lead Asterisk developer. “It includes hundreds of enhancements, many of which will help community members building large-scale solutions. The Asterisk community has, as always, been absolutely integral in the development of this major release. Now that it’s available, we’re rolling our development resources to work on the planned set of Asterisk 1.10 features.”

Asterisk 1.8 includes contributions from hundreds of community developers, as well as the Digium development team. For a comprehensive list of additions and changes, and to download the new version, visit http://www.asterisk.org. A few of the updates include:

  • Secure real-time transport protocol (RTP) support—New end-to-end VoIP encryption of signaling and media to compliment the existing encrypted signaling support.
  • Security event framework—Modular capability for collecting and distributing security events within Asterisk.
  • Extensive additions to ISDN-BRI functionality—Call completion services, connected party identification, ETSI advice of charge (AOC), message waiting indicator (MWI), call rerouting and call deflection.
  • Session initiation protocol (SIP) changes—Substantial increase in the speed of registrations, transport layer security (TLS) improvements and more flexible network address translation (NAT) handling.
  • IPv6 support—Integration with next-generation networks.
  • Calendar integration—Support for Microsoft Exchange, CalDav and iCalendar.
  • Channel event logging (CEL)—Enhanced call tracking and logging for better audit trail and billing purposes.
  • XMPP distributed messaging—Better scalability for message waiting and device state.
  • Improved internationalization and localization—Asterisk offers improved handling of concatenated audio playback (dates, numbers).
  • Google Talk and Google Voice support—Inbound and outbound support for Google Talk and Google Voice calling.
  • High-resolution timestamps for call data records (CDR)—Carrier and enterprise users can track call times to the microsecond.
  • Better support for voice codecs—16 kHz signed linear media streams are now supported. Additional HD voice codecs supported.
  • PacketCable NCS 1.0 support—Allows cable companies to use Asterisk as an option to create business services.
  • Default de-noise for conference bridge calls—Conference calls will sound clearer.
  • ConfBridge application enhancements—DAHDI hardware is no longer required to use this software feature. New call conferencing application that does not require the DAHDI kernel interface to operate.
  • Pitch shift functions—The pitch of audio, including of callers' voices, can be manipulated.
  • Multicast RTP paging—Extremely efficient and scalable method for handset paging.
  • Faster development and more robust unit testing—Digium has implemented Agile development and a new automated testing framework. The Agile process streamlines development and gives Asterisk users a better view into development plans.

Asterisk 1.8 is released under the GNU General Public License (GPLv2). It is free of charge and available for download at http://www.asterisk.org.

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