New China-based Asterisk Player Coming to Town

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Tom Keating
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New China-based Asterisk Player Coming to Town

HK Houyuan Technology Co. Ltd, a 3-year old company based in China has a line of Asterisk IP-PBXs with the super creative name of, wait for it... wait for it -- "IP PBX". smiley-laughing Their IP PBX series include the IP PBX-01, IP PBX-02, IP PBX-04, and IP PBX-08, where the number denotes the number of FXO/FXS ports. They run uClinux and Asterisk on a 400MHz Blackfin 532 chip. The ADSP-BF532 provide a low cost, power-efficient processor targeting convergent signal processing applications such as VoIP and featuring power consumption as low as 0.23 mW/MHz. This results in ultra low power consumption of less than 5 watts in idle state. The series also sports 256MB of Flash and 64MB of SDRAM.

A representative from HK Houyuan Technology Co. Ltd reached out to me via email and we discussed the various products they offer. I mentioned to them that I was one of the first, if not the first person to review one of China-based Yealink's IP phones, the SIP-T28P, which Yealink told me gave them a boost for their launch in America. Considering I never heard of IP PBX, err I mean HK Houyuan Technology's IP PBX series of Asterisk products I wanted to do a full-fledged review of it and requested an evaluation unit. I said we don't charge for product reviews and we only keep the hardware for 30 days and then return it. You just have to pay for shipping.

Surprisingly, I was told if I want to review one I have to buy one. Specifically, I was told "If you need text the our the IPPBX you must pay the prices. Thanks!". Perhaps there was a language barrier communicating via email since her English wasn't the greatest, but I tried explaining it's standard practice for journalists to not pay for products they're reviewing. Undeterred, and really wanting to check out one of their products I asked if they had a U.S. distributor or reseller yet, since I can often get eval products from them. Alas, I was told they're still in the process of acquiring U.S. distributors. Let this be a shout out to my VoIP distributor friends at ABP Tech and VoIP Supply - if you're reading this, here's a potential new Asterisk hardware player.

It's too bad HK Houyuan Technology declined my offer for a product review, which would have cost perhaps $100 in shipping - maybe less and would have given them some pretty good exposure. But as I told HK Houyuan Technology, even though a full-fledged product review is best, I wanted to at least cover the product based on their website and marketing materials I was sent.

Looking at the documentation it appears from the screenshots that the web user interface borrows heavily from Asterisk Now 2.0, so they're likely using that for configuration. Curious if what sort of telephony hardware they use (Digium, Sangoma, OpenVox) I determined they actually use their own in-house built analog cards. You can interchange FXO/FXS modules as needed depending on your needs, shown in this inside picture I grabbed from the documentation:
Note the two red and two green modules, likely color-coded to denote FXO or FXS modules. This photo is of the IP PBX-04 model, which also sports a RS-232 serial port, which you can see near the top, to the right of the Ethernet jack (yellow cable connected to it). Some feature highlights include over 50-100 available SIP/IAX2 extensions for SMB use, up to 20 concurrent calls, voicemail to email, conference room, and Skype for SIP.

  • VoIP gateway/IP PBX
  • Open source asterisk
  • uClinux operation system
  • Configurable IVR menu
  • Over 50 to 100 available SIP/IAX2 extensions for SMB use
  • 20 concurrent calls
  • Call forward, call waiting, call transfer (blind transfer/attend transfer), call pickup/call parking, call queues, ring group call, detail record, call routing
  • Ideal conference room
  • Password protect for conference room
  • Follow me
  • Music on hold
  • Skype for SIP
  • SIP trunk, IAX2 trunk, PSTN analog trunk
  • Configure via WEB interface
  • Code: G.711u/a, G.729, GSM, Speek, G.726
  • Full SSH access
  • Specification:
      • Hardware:
        • CPU: 400MHz Blackfin 532 chip
        • Flash: 256MB
        • SDRAM: 64MB
        • LED
        • Programmable reset button
      • Module configuration:
        • Slots for modules: 4
        • Dual port XO: XO-02
        • Dual port FS: FS-02
      • Interface:
        • 2 x RJ45 port
        • 1 x power port
        • 1 x UART interface
        • 1 x MMC/ SD slot
        • 8 x RJ11 port (FS/XO interchangeable)
      • Electrial data:
        • Power input: 12V DC/3A
I hope to one day check out one of their low-power "green" Asterisk units. I can't say how well their analog cards work compared to Digium, Sangoma, or other hardware. Hopefully, its echo cancellation is good. But if you're willing to live dangerously and try out one of these low-cost units, head over to

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