'Free software allows cheaper
long distance phone calls'
Oct 22 (IANS) Free software and open source solutions offer
a huge potential to link your computer to the mobile phone
and the inexpensive Skype networks - that allows you to make
international calls over the internet - and for sending out
could help significantly narrow the digital divide "at
the social level between rich and poor and geographical levels,
between city and village", says Giovanni Maruzzelli,
an Italian expert in the field currently touring India.
Italian techie has held meetings at IIT-Madras, at Auroville,
and at Mumbai, and now is scheduled to speak in Goa and Hyderabad.
is the man behind the celliax.org project, that works with
internet telephony, computers, sound cards and mobile phones
- bringing all together in amazing ways.
uses second-hand, recycled and cheap cellphones as interfaces
between VoIP and the GSM networks.
stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, and is optimized
for the transmission of voice through the internet or other
packet-switched networks. GSM is Global System for Mobile
communications, originally from Groupe SpeciaMobile.
still at the beginning of my trip. But in each place I've
been very refreshed by, and glad to see, the people that come
to the presentations of Asterisk-celliax-skypiax," Maruzzelli,
44, told IANS.
said: "Voice communication, when it is managed by advanced
technologies like Asterisk (the Open Source PBX and telephony
platform) and VoIP, allows a large public to tap the same
benefits of information access and interactivity that the
internet allows to the technical advanced part of the population."
India, he said, "I want to get acquainted with the technical
communities that relate (as users, developers, entrepreneurs,
administrators, teachers, etc) to free and open source software.
I'm making presentations about the free software that I'm
now contributing to.
see that there is a precise awareness, also among people who
have no technical knowledge, about how strategic the new voice
communication technologies - and mobile communication - could
be for India.
much easier, on many occasions, for people to interact using
a phone than using a computer. It is important to move toward
an approach that combines low cost, low power, recycling,
pointed out that India has "wide differences between
countryside and the big cities. In such a context, organizations,
communities, companies and public administration have to evaluate
and use each tools that allows them to interconnect with and
website www.celliax.org is the gathering point for the development
of celliax, skypiax and directoriax technologies, that allow
for a cheap interconnection between fixed lines, Skype, GSM,
software he has worked on is used to connect the Asterisk
PBX (www.asterisk.org) or private branch exchange to the GSM
and Skype networks for making and receiving voice calls and
menus, the phone interrogation of databases, speech synthesis
and recognition, automatic attendants - these are technologies
ready right now to be implemented, he said.
is a fast growing market for any technology that can save
money in telecommunication, he added.
Asterisk, FreeSwitch, and the other open source technologies
allow for bigger savings, and for extreme flexibility. Both
at the level of big telco and at the small office or tiny
community level, Maruzzelli added.
was founder of the first mass consumer internet service provider
and portal in Italy, partner in an incubator and venture capital
private fund and an internet and telecom investment expert
for the World Bank-IFC in Serbia.
I know very well that if you start from technologies that
have a high degree of usefulness and a great potential for
penetration, you can build a viable and successful business,"
he added. "All the pieces are there, and I see a very
bright future in India for all the open source technologies
related to VoIP."
Indian elite technologists are the best in the world; but
this is not news. With such a big population, India will have
to grow a much bigger number of medium and advanced techies,
who can bring about innovations in all parts of the country,"