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What is a VoIP Softswitch?

Hailey Avatar By: Hailey | Last updated March 27, 2020

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Softswitch is short from Software switch. The softswitch is a device within a telephone network with many different components. It is controlled by the Call Agent. The Call Agent sends information to gateways. The getaways interact with the public switched telephone network (PSTN) and IP networks. Softswitch is what makes VoIP, the modern telephone technology, possible.

How does a softswitch work?

Softswitch combines two elements: a call agent or call feature server for call control, routing and signaling and media gateway or access gateway, for MediaStream processing.

These two elements can be separated on hardware when one call agent or call feature server can control one or more gateways, or they can be co-located on a single piece of hardware.

The softswitch represents a central device in a telecommunication network, which connects telephone calls from one phone line to another trough a telecommunication network or the public internet.

A softswitch is sometimes categorized as Class 4 or Class 5 softswitch. Class 4 are used to route calls between carriers or over long distance, so that you can avoid the high costs of long-distance calls via PSTN. Class 5 can route even PSTN telephone calls making them an ideal solution for end users.

Softswitch has a significantly reduced cost and increased functionality to an extent that we are only beginning to know and understand. Nowadays, connections made by softswitch are done via internet from one IP telephony line to another.

Softswitch benefits

Softswitch technology has a lot of benefits: it needs less hardware, it saves your money and space, it supports remote installation and it is highly scalable.

Softswitch can provide some extra functionalities like voicemail, billing and call recording.  

Scalability – It can be scaled both up and down relatively easily. You can start small, but grow along with your company.

Billing – Softswitch gives you the ability to customize call rates and invoices for each user.

Flexibility – It is very flexible. It represents a great solution for all businesses and organizations.

Cost-effective – It is more cost-effective and upgrading the software is also less expensive than upgrading to new hardware.