Gayle Magee July 29th, 2011
As the original creator, maintainer and continued developer of the Asterisk Open Source Project, we provide Asterisk source code worldwide for free. Our revenue sources to continue maintaining and developing the project come from commercial sales of our telephony cards, turn key solutions, commercial licenses, and support. Every time you buy (or sell) genuine Digium products or services, you contribute to the Asterisk project.
Thanks to all of you, the proliferation of Asterisk has grown worldwide. The downside of this explosive growth is that we have started to see a significant number of Asterisk “clone” cards hit the market. Here’s some information on the difference between cards, why it matters, and what you can do to avoid and report clones:
Some manufacturers use their own designs and resell them under their own name. Others have actually taken our older card designs and copied them, reselling the copies under their own name. A third category are counterfeiters who manufacture replicas and imply they are Digium cards. You may have experience with these low-end cards. Nothing is more frustrating than a poor quality product from a manufacturer who claims they are “Digium Certified,” Genuine or Authentic (and then you later discover they are not).
We applaud legitimate ways of making money with Asterisk, but not illegitimate attempts to capitalize on the hard work and effort that has been put into the Asterisk name. Cloners and counterfeiters, by misleading customers into thinking they’re getting something they are not – real Digium cards – do tremendous damage to our brand and to Asterisk’s reputation. Clone cards are not built to the rigorous specifications of authentic Digium cards. Clone cards are not individually tested prior to shipping. Digium cards are. Clone cards use the cheapest available parts. Digium cards use the best available parts. You get the picture.
Not only do clone cards cut into revenue, they also raise costs. Our round-the-clock technical support people are constantly coming across non-Digium cards which are not working with the latest version of Asterisk. On occasion we try to help a customer by sending an advance replacement card, only to receive a non-working non-Digium card in return. (No wonder it wasn’t working).
Only Digium (and licensees) can use our trademarks in non-descriptive ways, like Digium TDM410.
Now, you know the difference between the real thing, straight from the source and clones. There are many advantages to purchasing an authentic Digium card, including:
* A five-year warranty
* Digium’s Exceptional Satisfaction Program (ESP) money back guarantee
* VoiceBus performance – patented high-performance architecture
* Digium created Asterisk and wrote the drivers which guarantees greater compatibility
* Complimentary (free) installation assistance – technical support from the company that created Asterisk
* Optional hardware echo cancellation, especially important for FXO ports
* ISO 9001 certified manufacturing process
* Made in the USA
What can you do?
When you see anyone offering a suspect “Digium compatible” card, please bring their site to our attention. Our internal team will review the site to ensure they are not misleading the public.