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Thread: VoIP Softswitch

  1. #1
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    Question VoIP Softswitch

    Is soft-switch the same as IP PBX?

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    A soft-switch can be a PBX but some soft-switches can be other things including a media server, conference call vendor, medical appointments scheduler, calling card vendor, call centers, etc. Asterisk & FreeSwitch are two that come readily to mind.

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    IOW a soft switch can be used for/by any of those use cases.

    Note in theory one could be used without IP or ATM connectivity, for pure PSTN telephone devices using traditional SS7, TDM protocols and hardware providing DS1/DS3/E1/STM1 ports.

    The term just means that the switching software is running on a general-purpose computer platform rather than the special-purpose switching hardware traditionally manufactured by Western Electric, Northern Telecom, Ericsson, Philips, ITT etc.

    In practice all modern gear handles packet-switching protocols like VoIP, but as benlake points out that isn't necessarily their only function.

    The two he mentions are those most commonly operated by end-users. Consumer-level ATAs and embedded devices like Vonage boxes, Obihai etc can also offer a small subset of switching functionality.

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