SOFTSWITCHES OFFERING ADVANCED SOLUTION FOR TELECOM INDUSTRY

by Adnan Khawaja on Jun 20, 2010

A Softswitch has replaced the traditional switch based on hardware and takes up all the functionalities of a calling agent in the form of a software which is loaded into a personal computer system. Thereby, functions such as billing, call routing, signaling, call services and so on are all handled by the softswitch. It also manages and controls several different Media Gateways over a TCP/IP link. Media Gateway enables connectivity of different media streams to create an end to end data or voice call. It may have interfaces to connect with different networks including PSTN, E1, STM etc. A distinguishing characteristic in a switching platform is its ability to handle retail versus carrier services. Thereby, a Class 4 switch is mostly used between two operators, such as in the case of making long distance calls, where calls are routed from a particular operator to another using a softswitch / switch. Whereas, a Class 5 switch is used in scenarios where the switch is directly connected with the end user; examples include switches used at telephone exchanges. A next generation softswitch is able to manage multiple communication streams that includes voice, fax, data and video traffic. With the help of sophisticated routines or programs it is able to break up information into packets containing payload and header which contains routing instructions needed by the switch. A softswitch can support signaling protocols for connectivity over TDM or VoIP. In the early years, VoIP technology had issues with regards to meeting the strict QoS requirements needed in real-time communication, therefore it wasn't able to find widespread adoption. However, over recent years VoIP has turned into a robust and cost effective way of communication, meeting QoS standards essential for carrier-grade communication. An alternative option to having a telecom switching infrastructure and keeping a softswitch at the premises of the carrier is to acquire a hosted softswitch service. In a hosted softswitch service, logical divisions / partitions are created on the softswitch where each partition owner can have exclusive access to the data, switching functionality, signaling IP, CDRs, and details of interconnecting endpoints. The switch partition owner has full access to the entire functionalities of the switch. Such a system is quite easy to setup and manage, and can get up and running in a matter of minutes. Furthermore, the carrier can decide to boost up its capacity on the system as its business grows. This results savings in cost overheads and efficiency in resource utilization. vSwitch: Hosted softswitches provides advanced Switching platform as a service (Saas) and solution for billing management. The switching platform is placed in a state-of-the-art collocation facility in the Boston, USA with full redundancy at every network element and a robust firewall to allow secure access to the platform. The service encompasses Nextone / Genband switch access which is the market standard in wholesale voice switching, premium IP bandwidth through multiple Tier-1 carriers, comprehensive billing management system, 24 x 7 support, and flexible pricing plan.

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Source: An expert working for Vswitch Hosted softswitches and vSwitch: Hosted softswitches has written this article.
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