A programmable network switch that can process all types of packet protocols. It offers an Application Programming Interface (API) for services such as call control, an interface for billing and lawful interception, and options such as the use of existing Intelligent Network (IN) services.
Software that resides in either a server or another network element, and is designed to separate the call-control functions of a telephone call from the media gateways that carry it. Some vendors include the media gateway or signaling gateway, too, as part of the softswitch itself. Essentially, a softswitch is designed to enable carriers to provide traditional voice services while introducing new services at a lower cost.
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