Wanna have your own infoline that users can call and navigate through using their dialpad (this is normally called an IVR, which stands for Interactive Voice Response)???
Well, all you need is a VPS (Mine is a 256MB Ubuntu server at hosteurope for 9.99€/month) and a VOIP-account (I went with a sipgate basic plan from sipgate, since it’s free and you get a local phone number with it).

If you haven’t done so already, you may wanna upgrade your ubuntu to hardy (although I don’t know if this is a requirement). Next, install the required asterisk packages:

sudo apt-get install asterisk asterisk-config asterisk-mp3 asterisk-prompt-de asterisk-sounds-extra asterisk-sounds-main

You may exchange the asterisk-prompt-de for your local language pack or skip it altogether….this is just the way I did it. Also the asterisk-mp3 package is only mandatory, if you want to play MP3s to your callers.
Next, open the file /etc/asterisk/sip.conf and put the following line into the OUTBOUND SIP REGISTRATIONS section:

register => SIP_ID:SIP_PASSWORD@sipgate.de

(Note the “:” in-between SIP_ID and SIP_PASSWORD) Replace SIP_ID and SIP_PASSWORD with the infos from your sipgate account page. Afterward, you may wanna restart your asterisk with:

sudo /etc/init.d/asterisk restart

Wait a little while and look at your sipgate settings page. It should now list your VPS as a registered device. On the same page, click on the fourth tab (called “Telefonie” in german….probably something like “phone” in english), which should list the local phone number, under which your asterisk setup should be accessible now.

Dial it and be happy you made it so far. It’s your server talking on the other end of the line:-)

I’ll write about setting up the actual IVR soon.

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