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(SOFTware PHONE) An application in the user's computer for making phone calls over the Internet. Known as a "voice over IP" (VoIP) service, computer users have a choice of audio hardware, including microphone and speakers, headset, Bluetooth phone or an IP phone connected via USB (see USB phone).

Softphone functionality is also available for smartphones and tablets, and these mobile devices only require the installation of a VoIP app.

Softphones can work stand-alone or be part of an IP PBX family. They offer the full range of phone features, such as call forwarding and conference calling. They may also interface with applications such as Outlook for automatic phone dialing. See VoIP, IP phone, IP PBX and IP telephony. See also software-defined radio.

One of the First SoftPhones
Launched in 1996 with ads to support its low rates, Net2Phone was one of the first software-only VoIP services. (Image courtesy of Net2Phone, Inc.,
References in periodicals archive ?
Just like an alarm clock will stop a dream completely and a soft radio or television might bleed some content into a dream, the REM cycles feature let you control this effect more precisely.
The soft radio baseband solution will soon be married to an equally innovative tuner front end capable of receiving any of these broadcast technologies and tune to long-, medium-, and short-wave, FM, Band-3 and L-Band.
The RedDot is also compatible worldwide since it uses Soft Radio RF (a programmable 2-6GHz).
Delphi Communication Systems, Maynard, Mass., a provider of advanced digital signal processing (DSP) software products and solutions enabling next-generation voice and data communications, has introduced the complete TIA-136 Soft Radio Platform Software solution, available on Texas Instruments TMS320C6x family of DSPs.