VoIP industry is passing through a revolutionary time and it is extremely glittering to the tech blessed modern world. A study shows that the global Mobile VoIP market is expected to reach USD 145.76 billion which is up to 28% by 2024!
Now days many young entrepreneurs are getting into VoIP business with huge interest. Initially, it’s hard for them to understand the meaning of each technical VoIP terms like softswitch, carrier, dialer, VoIP billing etc. In this blog, we will discuss about Softswitch and its types, which works as a middle device for initiating and routing any call through telecommunication network.
What is a Softswitch
A softswitch is a software used in the telecommunication network for launching, maintaining, routing and terminating sessions in Voice over IP (VoIP) networks. Internet-based telephony and a growing number of traditional telecommunication networks use Softswitch(s) to manage the connection of phone calls.
Call switching in the telecommunication industry is a long-term practice to interface the caller to the intended recipient. It was a manual process earlier when the phone administrators shifted the phone line physically, starting with one circuit then onto the next, to interface the call between a caller and recipient. Later with the blessing of VoIP Softswitch, the manual call routing had moved on to an automated process through a software device called “Softswitch”.
Softswitch consequently switches the phone lines, and it is a mix of a software and switchboard. Therefore, it is known as a Softswitch. It has the programmed logic to play out this telephone line exchanging.
Class 4 and Class 5 Softswitch are the most widely used switch for routing calls through different networks. Now, people may get confused on the difference between these two categories of Softswitch, Class 4 & Class 5. This Blog will inform you these specialized terms and the distinction between the both.
Class 5 Softswitch
Class 5 Softswitch is a strong platform with lots of interesting modern features. Through Class 5 Softswitch, a retail VoIP service provider can provide extremely rich quality IP services to enterprise and residential office customers with IP enabled devices like land-line IP phones and adaptors! Class 5 Softswitch is a handy retail solution.
So, if an end user wants to make a call from Singapore to Japan PSTN number, what’s the role of Class 5 Softswitch? To begin with, the call controlled by retail VoIP solution provider will be transmitted to a wholesale VoIP provider via Class 5 Softswitch. What happens after it reaches the wholesale VoIP provider is explained below. In addition Class 5 Softswitch contains many modern features like social media access for a user-friendly experience.
Class 4 Softswitch
Class 4 Softswitch is mainly used for routing IP-IP calls to long distant international locations using an IP network. For example, if an end user wants to initiate a call from Singapore to Japanese PSTN number, Class 4 Softswitch will route the call to Japanese PSTN number only when a wholesale VoIP service provider receives the transfer order from a Class 5 Softswitch.
In addition, Class 4 Softswitch, which has less features than Class 5 Softswitch, enables cost-efficient scaling of voice services while offering a reliable presence between inter exchange carriers.
Major differences between Class 4 and Class 5 Softswitch:
No doubt, Class 5 and Class 4 both are complete VoIP solutions that roll out rich in featuring next generation services! But, you also need to understand some major differences to get the features of both Softswitch more clearly. So, let’s figure out how a Class 5 Softswitch differs from Class 4 Softswitch:
Class 5 Softswitch is responsible for transferring calls to Class 4 Softswitch after receiving the calls, within small areas, for long distance routing through retail VoIP service providers. After receiving calls from Class 5 Softswitch, a whole sale VoIP service provider routes the call to the long destination by the help of a Class 4 Softswitch.
Class 5 Softswitch services include basic dial-tone, calling features, and additional digital and data services to subscribers using the local loop; but a Class 4 Softswitch is just a simplified softswitch solution. The main function of the Class 4 Softswitch is the routing of large volumes of long distance VoIP calls paralleling with other Class 4 telephone switches.
Types of Service:
Class 5 Softswitch is more of a retail solution whereas, Class 4 Softswitch is a wholesale solution. What does it mean? A Class 4 switch is a central office telephone exchange which is used to interconnect local exchange carrier offices, for long distance communications, in the public switched telephone network.
In contrast, a Class 5 Softswitch is a telephone switch or telephone exchange in the public switched telephone network, located at the local telephone company’s central office, directly serving end users.
The most important characteristics of Class 4 Softswitch are,
- Protocol support and conversion
- Calls per second rate
- Average time of one call routing
- Number of concurrent calls
- Flexible UI (user interface)
- Intelligent call routing
- Billing interface including CDR
- Secured firewall
- Filtered Third party routing engine
On the other hand, Class 5 Softswitch characteristics includes,
- Call authentication
- Billing and Routing
- Analog-to-digital conversion
- Support for Codec, Media transcoding
- Social Media usability
- Call transfer
- Call holding
- Call forking
Class 5 Softswitches are intended to work with both VoIP service providers as well as end users. A Class 5 Softswitch is for local & long-distance telephony services, both. So, it possesses additional service features for end-users & corporate clients such as IP PBX features, call center services, calling card platform, types of authorization, QoS, Business Groups, and other features similar to other Class 5 telephone switches.
On the other hand, Class 4 Softswitch intends to serve wholesale VoIP solution providers, PSTN, Telco Operators, carriers etc.
Class 4 Softswitch can transfer a large amount of call but Class 5 Softswitch can handle only small number of calls.
A Class 4 softswitch routes large volumes of usually long-distance VoIP calls throughout multiple IP network. In contrast, a Class 5 Softswitch routes calls to the correct IP address, SIP address or DID number of an End user.