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(1) (Soft-Switch) Earlier software from Soft-Switch, Inc. that converted email 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
References in periodicals archive ?
One of the key factors in choosing a provider was that the Media Gateway Controller needed to provide compatibility with the client's incumbent Cisco AS5400 Media Gateways.
As part of Tekelec's T9000 integrated solution, the T3000 Multimedia Gateway Controller has gained light penetration among large service providers.
Trunking, Essentra(TM) CX, a scalable, carrier-grade SIP-based media gateway controller.
These enhancements enable the Tekelec 7000 to serve as a combined call management server, media gateway controller, signaling gateway and trunking gateway for PacketCable and PacketCable Multimedia cable systems.
As part of this agreement, AmmanCall deployed VocalTec's Trunking Solution, Essentra(TM) CX, a scalable, carrier-grade SIP-based media gateway controller, VocalTec's Peering solution, Essentra(TM) EX, a peering manager that facilitates peering between SIP and/or H.
The solution is based on key elements of Cisco's Service Exchange Framework, part of its IP Next Generation Network (IP NGN) architecture, and Personeta's TappS NSC application server, The solution also includes Cisco's voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) gateways as well as Cisco's carrier-class media gateway controller, the PGW 2200 which provides enhanced call control capabilities to MTS.
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.

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