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The VoIP market growth is mainly attributed to the swift development of the wireless communications infrastructure and the increased implementation of cloud-based VoIP services. Many businesses today are shifting from traditional phone systems to cloud-based phone systems that are customized to handle calls and voicemails to ensure smooth and efficient communication. Another important factor that is augmenting the VoIP market demand is the rising trend of workforce mobility. Overall, the growth drivers of the VoIP market can be described as:

  • Cost-benefits over circuit-switched networks
  • Increased adoption by SMEs
  • The emergence of 5G technology
  • The rising popularity of hosted VoIP solutions
  • The mounting trend of mobility in businesses

Furthermore, a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Market can be described on the basis of various parameters, such as:

VoIP on the basis of Type: Integrated Access/Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Trunking, Managed IP PBX, and Hosted IP PBX

  • VoIP on the basis of access type: Phone to Phone, Computer to Computer, and Computer to Phone
  • VoIP on the basis of call type: International VoIP Calls, and Domestic Calls
  • VoIP on the basis of medium type: Fixed, and Mobile
  • VoIP on the basis of End-use: Consumers, SMBs, and Large Enterprises
  • VoIP on the basis of application: IT & Telecom, BFSI, Healthcare, Government & Public Sector, Retail, Education, Hospitality

With the help of VoIP solutions, businesses can easily communicate with people associated with their business anytime, anywhere. As per the Grand View Research report, the VoIP market size is likely to reach $145 B by 2024. When we hear about VoIP technology, a buzzword that instantly comes to our mind is VoIP Softswitch.

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What is VoIP Softswitch?

A Softswitch is a software-based device in a VoIP network that helps in managing voice traffic and routing calls within the network. To put it more simply, a Softswitch is a software-based device that virtually and automatically connects the calls by means of general-purpose servers and VoIP technology.

When talking about Class 1, 2, and 3 Softswitches, they are generally used for much larger call volumes. Class 1 Softswitches are basically used for international gateways whereas Classes 2 and 3 Softswitches are used to connect cities, towns, and states.

In this article, we are going to explain 2 types of Softswitches:

  • Class 4 switch: It helps to route calls between call suppliers
  • Class 5 switch: It connects suppliers with real clients or end-users who actually make and receive calls

Let’s look at both these Softswitches in detail below:

Class 4 Softswitches

A Class 4 Softswitch is beneficial for routing large volumes of calls, generally the long-distance VoIP calls. Businesses that are looking forward to interconnecting their VoIP servers, can utilize Class 4 Softswitches to transmit VoIP traffic and services over multiple IP networks.

Some of the key characteristics of Class 4 Softswitches include:

  • Protocol support and conversion
  • Transcoding
  • 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
  • The filtered third-party routing engine

The smart call routing system provided by Class 4 Softswitches helps in reducing congestion, latency, and costs while enhancing the quality of VoIP calls. Moreover, most of the Class 4 Softswitches come with a billing interface that provides call data records. These switches can effectively filter information based on data like customer, data, and other parameters to produce reports of incoming as well as outgoing calls, along with unauthorized calls, traffic volume, and call routing.

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Class 5 Softswitches

Beneficial for end-users, a Class 5 Softswitches connects phones and other devices to each other. It can be used for both local and long-distance telephony. Class 5 Softswitch is an intelligent device that routes calls to the most appropriate IP address, SIP address, or DID number.

Some of the key characteristics of Class 5 Softswitches include:

  • Call authentication
  • Billing and Routing
  • IVR
  • Callback
  • Analog-to-digital conversion
  • Support for Codec, Media transcoding
  • Social Media usability
  • Call transfer
  • Call holding
  • Call forking

VoIP providers can utilize Class 5 Softswitches to record the duration of calls based on which they can bill customers automatically.

Difference between Class 4 and Class 5 Softswitch

Both Class 4 and Class 5 switches are complete VoIP solutions that include rich features to provide next-generation services. Below mentioned are some of the key differences between Class 4 and Class 5 Softswitches on the basis of different parameters, such as:

  • Purpose

Class 5 Softswitches are utilized by retail VoIP service providers for transferring calls to Class 4 Softswitches after receiving the calls, within small areas for long-distance routing.

Upon receiving the calls from Class 5 Softswitches, a wholesale VoIP service provider routes the call to the long destination with the help of a Class 4 Softswitches.

  • Features
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Class 5 Softswitch services generally include basic dial-tone, calling features and additional digital and data services to subscribers using the local loop

On the other hand, Class 4 Softswitch is a basic Softswitch solution and its main function is to route large volumes of long-distance VoIP calls paralleling other Class 4 telephone switches.

  • Types of Service

Class 5 Softswitches are more of a retail solution, positioned at the local telephone company’s central office, and used to serve end-users.

On the other hand, Class 4 Softswitches are a wholesale solution that is used to connect local exchange carrier offices, long-distance communications, and the public switched telephone network.

  • Clients

Class 5 Softswitches can be used by both the VoIP service providers as well as end-users.

Can be used by both

On the other hand, Class 4 Softswitches are used to serve wholesale VoIP solution providers, PSTN, Telco Operators, carriers, etc.

  • Ability

Class 5 Softswitches can handle only a small number of calls.

On the other hand, Class 4 Softswitches can be used to transfer a large number of calls.

  • Route Area

Class 5 Softswitches route calls to the correct IP address, SIP address, or DID number of an end-user.

Whereas, a Class 4 Softswitches route large volumes of calls usually long-distance VoIP calls throughout multiple IP networks.

Conclusion:

It is important to note that the Class 5 Softswitches and Class 4 Softswitches generally work together in most cases. These feature-rich solutions provide next-generation services for offering flawless communication between numerous enterprises.