Don't miss an insight. Subscribe to Techopedia for free.


Software Switch

What Does Software Switch Mean?

A software switch is an Internet Protocol (IP) application programming interface (API), which bridges software and hardware systems. The device was developed by the International Softswitch Consortium (ISC), which was formed in May 1999.


This term is also known as softswitch.

Techopedia Explains Software Switch

Softswitch solutions are based on open IP standards, which reduce costs associated with traditional hardware replacement solutions. Examples of software switches include call agents, call servers and media gateway controllers.

Softswitch routes IP data communications such as voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) and device traffic such as audio, video, voice and fax. This routing is done through the following functions:

  • Media gateway and/or native IP endpoint control
  • Call process selection
  • Network call routing based on signaling and data
  • Call control transfers to other network elements
  • Management support, e.g., billing and provisioning

Related Terms