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IP Telephony/VoIP Asterisk Connection


QUESTION: Hi Gerry, I'm recently got into the VoIP world for our company and our PBX system is the Cisco UCM 8.5.1 which I understand pretty well.
The question I have is as follows.
I just bought the Synology DS 411j and I see that it comes with an Asterisk PBX package. I would like to install it at my home and then connect that to either a VoIP provider or SIP provider.
1) what is the difference ( I'm sure if I spend maybe 20 min on Google I would find it but your knowledge is also appreciated)
2)What would you recommend? What are your mistakes and improvements on your systems?

ANSWER: Hi Julien,

not quite sure I got your question. What is the difference between what? Between Asterisk and Cisco UCM? Or between VoIP provider and SIP provider?

I will go for the latter.

SIP is a very simple telephony protocol for Voice over IP. Before SIP there was H.323. I am not aware of any VoIP providers offering anything other than SIP today. So I guess VoIP provider has become = SIP provider. Asterisk works best with SIP.

I have made a lot of mistakes with Asterisk and many other VoIP telephony systems. Thats how you learn best in my opinion. I have also made lots of improvements as a result of that.

I suggest you hook up a free SIP soft client (Try Counterpath) to your Asterisk and see if you can get anything to work. Usually it comes with a free voicemail system, which you can use to test and listen with.

Then try someone like Broadvoice as a SIP provider. Most offer a 30 day free trial period. You can get to see if it is something you want to get into and develop upon.

Good luck.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for the quick follow-up.
You were right about the question. I know at work we use skinny SCCP)protocol with UCM so I was curious what the difference was besides the protocol with a VoIP provider and a SIP provider. Sorry for not explaining myself better (French Canadian thoughts trying to type English).
I actually plan on trying to load the Cisco 7960 I have with the 7.5 SIP protocol. As for the Broadvoice, I might be wrong but I think this is for US residence only. I couldn't find any documentation that states Canadian residence can use this service but I have found one just by Googling "SIP provider" called I will try to search and compare for more.

I really dont think it matters where you use Broadvoice from. I have and accounts as well as

That's the cool thing about it being a VoIP service. As such it is not subject to state regulation in the same way as you may be used to. It breaks that paradigm and offers true competition.

Skinny is a totally proprietary protocol that no other device in the world speaks except Cisco. So it's pretty much doa.

I have used 7960's with SIP on an Asterisk with absolutely no problems.

Let me know how it goes with Canadian SIP providers.

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Gerry Magill


I am a Software Architect employed by a large multi-national communications company providing VoIP and tradtional TDM communications to Enterprise customers.


Past/Present clients
IBM, SBS, Siemens, KPMG, Bank Berlin, Commerzbank

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