Soft Switch

Short for software switch, a soft switch is an API, or interface, (see API) which is used to bridge a traditional PSTN and VoIP by linking PSTN to IP networks. It also manages the mixture of traffic consisting of voice, data, fax, and video. Soft switches have the capability of processing signaling for all types of packet protocols. A soft switch is a software based switching platform unlike the traditional “hardware” based switching center technology. Another name for soft switch is media gateway controller. Softswitch is the concept of separating the network hardware from network software. In traditional circuit switched networks, hardware and software are not independent. Circuit switched networks rely on dedicated facilities for inter-connection and are designed primarily for voice communications. The more efficient packet based networks use the Internet Protocol (IP) to efficiently route voice and data over diverse routes and shared facilities.