chan_unistim: Nortel IP Phones with Asterisk

A new channel driver has been committed to Asterisk trunk which allows you to use Nortel IP phones with Asterisk. It was submitted by Cedric Hans. See the commit and the original mantis issue. This module will be available in Asterisk 1.6.

There is some basic documentation and a sample configuration file available.

Nortel phones which have been verified to work with this module are the Nortel i2002, i2004 and i2050.

One of the biggest problems with going with a proprietary phone system is vendor lock-in across all aspects of the system. The amazing thing about Asterisk is the amount of choice that is available. Making it possible to use these handsets with Asterisk will allow those that have previously been locked in to switch to a more powerful and more flexible system without having to invest in new handsets.

That brings the number of VoIP protocols natively supported in Asterisk up to 7. There are:

  • SIP
  • IAX2
  • H.323
  • MGCP
  • Cisco Skinny / SCCP
  • Jingle / GoogleTalk

What’s next?

pbx_lua: Asterisk Dialplan in Lua

Recently, a new module for writing Asterisk dialplan in the Lua programming language was merged into Asterisk trunk. It was developed by Matt Nicholson of Digium, Inc. See the commit and mantis issue. It will be available in Asterisk 1.6.


Lua is a powerful, fast, light-weight, embeddable scripting language.

Lua combines simple procedural syntax with powerful data description constructs based on associative arrays and extensible semantics. Lua is dynamically typed, runs by interpreting bytecode for a register-based virtual machine, and has automatic memory management with incremental garbage collection, making it ideal for configuration, scripting, and rapid prototyping.

‘Lua’ means ‘moon’ in Portuguese and is pronounced LOO-ah.

This module provides another alternative for native dialplan programming. Check out the example extensions.lua file for an example of how it looks.

There has been some discussion about benchmarking pbx_lua versus the existing extensions.conf and extensions.ael for dialplan execution performance, but no results have been posted as of yet.