Index Asterisk card Service Asterisk card Article

What is Call Queues?

The call queue is one of the most advanced features of Asterisk and yet is still fairly simple to implement, thanks to the FreePBX interface. Previously available only in high?end phone systems, the call queue is a standard feature of Asterisk PBX.

A call queue is different from a ring group in that the caller is not sent immediately to all the available agents. When a caller is sent to a call queue, they are sent to a virtual holding area to wait for the next available agent. During the wait, they can be listening to music on-hold and be told their position in the queue and the estimated hold time. Call queues are extremely valuable in sales and support organizations where inbound call volume can sometimes exceed the number of available agents. This provides a level of additional call capacity to the company while assuring the caller that they will be taken care of in the order that they called in, rather than having to continually call back.

For example, a support organization may only have five technicians. However, if a sixth call comes in, somebody would have to pick up the call and manually put the caller on hold. This becomes a real nightmare if even more calls become stacked up. With a call queue, additional callers are automatically put on hold and are answered in the order that they called.

When we call our telephone company or other organizations for support, we experience the call queue. We are often greeted with messages such as "We are experiencing high call volumes at present, you are being held in a queue. We will deal with

your enquiry shortly". When planning call queues we should consider what we want the callers to hear, how much wait callers can tolerate, and how many agents we need online at a particular time. When planning our queues, we should record:

A unique name for the queue

A unique number to identify the queue

A password for access to the queue

The announcement to be played to the caller periodically

Category of hold music to be played

Ring strategy

Static members of the queue

Queue Name

Queue #



On-Hold Music Category

Ring Strategy

Static Agents






202, 205, 207,209






250, 251, 252, 253

See also

-ISDN BRI and ISDN PRI Services
-About VoIP
-SIP:Session Initiation Protocol
-List of commercial voice over IP network providers
-List of SIP software
-VoIP links