A softswitch, in very simple words, is a device that originates the communication from one point to another, usually when there are multiple points to select from. A softswitch allows incorporation of diverse protocols in the Next Generation Networks (NGN). The major task of softswitch is to build network interfaces between media gateways and signaling gateways. In a VoIP network, softswitches are centralized devices, which basically work with the help of a computer. The concept of softswitch is connected with the thought of completely splitting the switching unit of the main network. Ever since the VoIP networks have been shaped by the blend of telephone and computer networks, the softswitch works as a center of connection between these two networks with the transmission of diverse data appeals from one network to another, concurrently.
The central device named softswitch is classified into two parts: Class 4 and Class 5 softswitches. A Class 4 VoIP switch routes huge volumes of international or long distance phone calls. For the companies that want to connect their VoIP servers, a Class 4 switch protects the release of VoIP traffic and services over diverse Internet Protocol networks.
Features of Class 4 switch may include excellent call routing, which eliminates abeyance and cost while boosting the quality of VoIP phone calls and a range of safety components. Numerous Class 4 softswitches also include a billing interface that allows for the keeping of phone call information records.
A Class 4 softswitch can even sort information by date, client name or other ways to produce reports about outgoing and incoming phone calls, call routing, traffic volume and even about non-official calls.
In contrast, Class 5 softswitch works to link phones and other gadgets to one another. Class 5 switch is also called an Internet Protocol switch. It routes phone calls to accurate IP address. It also allows for end-user facets like call forwarding, caller ID, call transfer, call waiting, and last but not the least, video conferencing.
Features of Class 5 softswitch:
• Forward on busy
• Reject unauthorized calls
• Forward on no answer
• Caller ID
• Fixed line dialing
• Selective call acceptance and rejection
• On net only
• Call Groups
• Call Back on busy
• C5 Voicemail
• Call Return
These two softswitches are fully loaded with pioneering functions and features. A softswitch gives the VoIP service provider the flexibility and elasticity to differentiate itself and become successful in the blooming and rapidly growing VoIP industry.