Asterisk has a firm place in the market, especially for end user devices (like Aastra's new key system, the AastraLink Pro 160; Fonality; SwitchVox, and the like). In addition, there are service providers who offer managed services (like Hosted PBX and managed phone systems) based on Asterisk devices. Now there is a new software platform for service providers to look at:
"Freeswitch is a perfect platform for CLECs to deploy innovative new applications like conferencing and voice mail." said Ken Rice, developer and user of the system. "We took out a Tier-2 carrier's $1 million switch because a couple of our Freeswitch boxes provided too much call volume at one time." This is an astounding statement of the performance of this system. The group claims that the software has been tested for 100 hours to over 10 million calls without crashing. "One of our switches has 2500 call legs and it's using a single Dell 1950 and the memory and processor utilization is only about 10%. It's doing 80-100 call setups per second," said Rice. [source]
Om mentions that it doesn't so much as compete with Asterisk (which was never designed to be a softswitch) but replace it in the carrier softswitch space.
An interview with the founder of FreeSwitch.