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Softswitches Continue to Play Key Role in VoIP Calling

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January 10, 2013

Softswitches Continue to Play Key Role in VoIP Calling

By Ed Silverstein, TMCnet Contributor

IP softswitches continue to be important for Voice-over-IP calls as the technology connects two telephone lines during a call using Internet calling software, instead of a phone switchboard.

Because it is software-based, softswitches also give more flexibility over hardware-based switching technology and can often be used to connect VoIP calls with landlines or other VoIP connections.

Some of the well-known features in an IP softswitch include: real-time billing, traffic graphs, profit/margin reporting, call detail records, and sales reports. A softswitch also lets various kinds of media get transferred across a network, such as video or chat.

Softswitches are often located in a building owned by a telecom provider. Or, they can be hosted - whereby a cloud-based service lets a telecom company use a third-party for the softswitch layer of a network. That leads to lower costs and less hardware to maintain.

In addition to these benefits, VoIP softswitches are either Class 4 or Class 5, according to online explanations. The Class 4 is associated with VoIP traffic between carriers. They often route long-distance VoIP calls. On the other hand, Class 5 softswitches are used for both for local- and long-distance calling. Class 5 is also associated with the IP-PBX (News - Alert) and call centers.

There is a healthy market outlook for the VoIP switch market. As research points to a likely increase at a compound annual growth rate of 4 percent between 2011 and 2015. Reportstack also names Nokia Siemens Networks, ZTE Corp., Metaswitch Networks, Dialogic, Cisco Systems Corp. and Italtel (News - Alert).

According to Infonetics, the VoIP switch and IMS market actually dropped 4 percent sequentially in Q3 of 2012. Yet, it jumped 8 percent from the third quarter of 2011. The year 2012 may have been the first growth year in the VoIP and IMS market for carriers in over four years, the firm said.

Given all this data and trends, there is still a question on whether to opt for hosted options for IP softswitches. Other benefits to consider include the benefits hosted services provide to small and medium size VoIP telephony (voice over IP) providers, as well as for carrier grade VoIP service providers who don’t want to be bothered with having to maintain and monitor the Softswitch on their own. To make it easier, a hosted solutions means users need only pay a monthly fee and get rid of the upfront capital investment.

One good option could be the REVE Systems iTel Billing Softswitch which includes all the perks like monthly payment options as well as the ability to quickly start a VoIP business, and more.

To find out more about REVE Systems visit the company at ITEXPO Miami 2013, taking place Jan. 29- Feb 1, in Miami, Florida. Visit REVE Systems in booth #430. For more information on ITEXPO (News - Alert) Miami 2013 click here.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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