Software Switch

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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

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.