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Freeswitch – Redefining The Future Of Telecommunication

By Author: Billy Levy

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For those who are new to FreeSWITCH, it is an amazing open source communications platform that can be utilized for a range of communication solutions such as voice conferencing solutions, video conferencing solutions, and audio conferencing solutions and so on. The popularity of FreeSWITCH can be gauged from the fact that it is perhaps the most sought after teleconferencing solution today. With the traditional PBX now obsolete, FreeSWITCH teleconferencing solutions are hot on the market currently.

FreeSWITCH initially took shape as a project, which was first announced in January 2006, at O'Reilly Media's ETEL Conference. Since then, it has seen rapid progress. FreeSWITCH was selected for use by Truphone in June 2007. Not long after, Gaboogie announced in August 2007, that it had selected FreeSWITCH as its conferencing platform. This was followed by the first official release of FreeSWITCH as version 1.0.0 (Phoenix) on May 26, 2008. Following a minor patch release 1.0.1 on July 24, 2008, it is now in its stable release 1.2.1, which was launched on 14 August 2012

FreeSWITCH is a library that ships with a small executable that loads the library and launches the core and performs the various tasks that are defined in the modules. It can be best understood as a soft switch or a PBX telephony application. Though it is not completely like Asterisk, it is capable of handling thousands of simultaneous calls.

With FreeSWITCH, it is possible to build a wide range of solutions such as video conferencing solutions, voice conferencing solutions, audio conferencing solutions, FreeSWITCH teleconferencing solutions and others. For example, one could build a softphone, PBX system, or even interface it with other open source PBX systems such as OpenPBX.org, Yate, Bayonne, or Asterisk. FreeSWITCH can also be used as a library to build a VoIP switching platform using a range of technologies, more specifically SIP, LDAP, Zeroconf, XMPP/jingle, etc.

The beauty of FreeSWITCH is that a library, it can be used by developers to enable switching in their custom applications. FreeSWITCH can be launched not only from a C application, but also through PHP, Perl, and a variety of other languages. Written in C, FreeSWITCH is built from ground up. It is not actually a fork of another code or code base. FreeSWITCH takes advantage of as many existing software libraries as possible. Since, it is modular and has an extensible architecture, it has the necessary functionality in the core (libfreeswitch) with optional modules that can handle the rest.

The best part of FreeSWITCH is that it can run on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, ARM, BSD,l and other flavors of UNIX. Licensed under MPL, it has a range of features that will make any other voice conferencing solutions, video conferencing solutions, audio conferencing solutions and so on, look inferior to this. Since it can run on Win 32/ Mac/Unix and can easily handle 8 kHz/16 kHz/32 kHz/48 kHz audio, it is much sought after by technical as well as industry enthusiasts.

Other top range features include SIP BLF/SLA/PBX features, soft conferencing, Google Talk, Async Audio, event/logger engine, and others. Supporting various features such as SIP, SCCP, Google Talk, H.323, and others, it is relatively easy to use FreeSWITCH for innumerable voice and audio communication solutions.

Thus, the future of FreeSWITCH is extremely bright, as the Internet has begun to play a dominating role in the communications dimension of nearly every organization big or small.

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