softswitch

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softswitch

(1) (Soft-Switch) Earlier software from Soft-Switch, Inc. that converted e-mail messages from one protocol to another using X.400 as a common base. Running on IBM mainframes and Data General minicomputers, Soft-Switch, Inc. became a division of Lotus in 1995. See X.400.

(2) A programmable switch that processes the signaling for packet-based telephony protocols. Also known as a "media gateway controller," "call agent" or "call server," telephony providers use softswitches to integrate PSTN signaling (SS7) with VoIP. Using network processors at its core, softswitches can support IP, DSL, ATM and frame relay transports in the same unit. The softswitch's programmability enables it to adapt to future protocols. See IP telephony, VoIP and SIP.

It Should Be Able To...
According to the International Softswitch Consortium, a softswitch should be able to (1) control connection services for a media gateway and/or native IP endpoints, (2) select processes that can be applied to a call, (3) provide routing for a call within the network based on signaling and customer database information, (4) transfer control of the call to another network element, and (5) interface to and support management functions such as provisioning and billing.

Softswitch Infrastructure
This shows how a softswitch fits into the integrated SS7 and VoIP worlds. (Illustration assistance courtesy of GNP Computers and Pulver.com.)
References in periodicals archive ?
To perform signaling and call control tasks, the systems integrator, Technoserv A/S, a Cisco Gold Certified Partner, chose the Cisco PGW 2200 Media Gateway Controller.
Though softswitch vendors continue to tout their compliance with IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) and distributed architectures in general, it takes much more to deliver on the multi-service network edge than simply decoupling the media gateway and media gateway controller," said Michael Kennedy of Network Strategy Partners.
248 is an IETF/ITU standards-based signaling protocol that enables media gateway controllers to manage media gateways in establishing media paths in converged networks.
Additionally, the operators will have the ability to cap and grow costly existing legacy systems while offering enhanced IP services by deploying the Tekelec 9000 backbone network, which consists of multiple distributed Tekelec 8000 Wireless Multimedia Gateways and Tekelec 3000 Media Gateway Controllers.
E[acute accent]The superior density and high performance of the HDCII-AMC make it particularly suitable for demanding telecommunications applications that require high capacity and throughput, including: Signaling Gateways, Media Gateway Controllers, and SGSN, GGSN, MSC, HLR/VLR and BSS nodes in Next Generation Networks.