Mixing fixed lines and Internet telephony … Asterisk to the rescue

After a flurry of emails across the continents (and within Goa), it’s finally getting done. Giovanni Maruzzelli of Celliax.org is due to talk in Goa (BITS-Pilani Goa campus, Oct 22, 2008 at 6 pm, at the lecture theatre).

Giovanni, from Italy, is touring India to make some presentations over 20 days on Asterisk, chan_celliax, chan_skypiax and directoriax at various venues. He explains it thus:

Asterisk is a software PBX that connects fixed lines and Internet telephony, celliax and skypiax interface Asterisk with cellphones and Skype. Celliax use second-hand, recycled or cheap cellular phones as physical interface with the GSM network. All is open source and free.

The focus of his talks are this:

Topic: chan_celliax and chan_skypiax, how to add gsm and skype capabilities to Asterisk


  • Asterisk overview
  • Asterisk’s Channel Drivers overview
  • Hardcore Asterisk development challenges
  • How chan_celliax works: audio, signaling, dsp
  • chan_celliax hardware: audiocables, datacables, cellphones
  • how chan_skypiax works: audio, signaling
  • celliax and skypiax dialplan usage
  • celliax and skypiax AMI manager usage
  • directoriax, app_directory on steroids
  • putting all together in a simple example
  • Q&A Session

Thanks to Hitesh Mantrala for working out things at the BITS Pilani Goa centre end. Vickram Crishna, a techie-journalist and IITian alumni of Mumbai said: “A terrific opportunity for lucky people in those cities to meet him.”  Alberto Escudero-Pascual wrote in an earlier email: “The last week I have been working with Giovanni Maruzzelli, the hacker behind the celliax.org project, a channel for Asterisk that allows to connect a standard phone to a PBX using a sound card and a data cable. Giovanni, is going to travel to India (Chennai area) and he has asked for FOSS-type of contacts in the country….”

More about Giovanni: Giovanni Maruzzelli (born 1964) has 15+ years of experience with open source, industrial grade operations, and ICT startups (both at the investor or investee side). Industry experience includes publishing engines, open source messaging and networking, document indexing and retrieval systems, unified messaging. Giovanni primary skill is producing solutions that are “reality based” and business wise.

A member of the worldwide open source community for over twelve years, Giovanni is the proud owner of the Mysql license n.1, and as a speaker, trainer and magazines writer he was instrumental to the introduction of Internet, Unix, Linux and open source to the Italian technical public.

In the beginning of the Internet era, Giovanni was one of the founders of Italia Online, the most popular Italian portal and consumer ISP, and architect of its Internet technologies – http://www.iol.it Then supervisor of Internet operations and architect of the first engine for paid access to www.ilsole24ore.com, the most read financial newspaper in Italy and to its databases (migrated from mainframe).

After that, he was CEO of venture capital funded Matrice, developing Telemail unified messaging and multi language phone access to email (Text To Speech), and CTO of incubator funded Open4, an open source managed applications provider.  As a partner In3 fund Giovanni has often evaluated the technical and financial soundness of submitted business plans. Then he was for two years in Serbia as Internet and Telecommunication Investment Expert for World Bank – IFC. Giovanni is now consulting and is based in Milan, Italy.  His email address: gmaruzz at celliax.org

We, in Goa, were lucky to lure him over. Some quick emails helped. The image of Goa did the rest. After all, who doesn’t like to visit here? (I think the government pundits should just give up on their dreams of competing with Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune or even Thiruvananthapuram, Hubli and Pondicherry) and just make Goa a destination for IT events, happenings, fairs and conferences. The people here are smart enough to pick up things and take it further on from there 🙂

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