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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
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References in periodicals archive ?
Ecosmob's class 5 residential softswitch comes with a host of functionalities for the user and for the service providers.
A spokesperson at FreeSWITCHService gave a brief account of the features of both customized Class 4 and Class 5 Softswitch solutions developed by the company: " Our tailored solutions are interoperable and designed to keep VoIP service providers' requirements in mind.
has a highly talented and experienced team of developers who has developed different types of class 5 softswitch. The company also offers round the clock service, which makes it stand out from its competitors.
REDCOM's SLICE 2100 and HDH softswitches with extensive SIP based VoIP capabilities like SIP trunking allow you to scale your network faster and more cost-effectively than with traditional trunks and phone lines, thus cutting operating costs.
The Coral Sea Softswitch allows for distributed system architecture, delivering complete redundancy and the highest level of fault tolerance to ensure business continuity and reliability.
"By migrating to a software based softswitch architecture, we are able to deploy MAXCS 6.0 on any AltiGen certified Intel(R) based server," said Jimmin Yao, vice president of product management.
Meanwhile the company, which completed life-saving financial restructuring in 2003, has announced that its SoftSwitch XCD 5000, which is part of the Impact SoftSwitch platform, has passed all the tests demanded by the Ministry of the Russian Federation for Communications and Information.
"Level 3 has established a uniquely strong position in the wholesale dial access market, thanks in large part to the inherent efficiency of our proprietary softswitch platform," said Sureel Choksi, president of softswitch services for Level 3.
The Welsh company, chaired by billionaire Sir Terry Matthews, announced that it is providing its 1460 session controller for use in Marconi's SoftSwitch product.
Motorola (NYSE:MOT) Global Telecom Solutions Sector (GTSS) has signed an extension to its existing contract with RadioMovel, the Portuguese mobile operator, to deliver install and commission its first Motorola SoftSwitch for Code Division Multiple Access (MSS-C) in Europe.
The Media Gateway Control Protocol (MGCP) Functional and Performance test suite provides rigorous media gateway controller performance testing to RFC 2705 and allows stress testing two million busy-hour call attempts per port for any softswitch. The suite lets network operators emulate multiple gateways or individual IP phones, allowing comprehensive characterization of MGCP network devices under extreme signaling loads.