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V1 VoIP Explains the History and Evolution of the Softswitch

Posted on: September 26, 2021


Did you know that the VoIP softswitch has actually been around for more than a century? One hundred years ago, it looked and operated very differently, but it was a technical revolution for its time. To keep up with all the transformation of telecommunications, the softswitch has gone through it’s own evolution over the course of telecom’s history. Here V1 VoIP explains the history and evolution of the softswitch from it’s beginnings to modern day’s amazing VoIP features.


Switchboard Operators (1878 1960s)
Remember old television shows like Mr. Ed? A person would pick up a call and say something like “Operater please connect me to Mrs. Smith on Cherry Lane.” Switchboard operaters were on the other end routing the calls. This was completely advanced technology over this time period. At the time, switchboard operators consisted mostly of women. For more than half a century, switchboard operatoring was an extremely fast-growing profession. But in the 1950s, developments in new technological know-how made the move from manual to any or all electronic.

The Strowger Step(1891-1938)
Would you believe it took dealing with death to make a quantum leap forward? The step-by-step (SXS) switch was invented by Almon Brown Strowger, and this was the first example of an electromechanical walking switch telephone exchange system. Strowger had been an undertaker–yep, that kind of undertaker– and one local operator was actually the wife of a competing undertaker. Whenever someone would call and ask to be put through for you to Stowger, calls were deliberately sent to his competitor. So, he thought we would take matters into his own hands and help transform telecommunications. The Strowger switch was the first effective implementation of automatic transitioning. Strowger formed Strowger Automatic Telephony Exchange in 1891, and the company exists today as AG Sales and marketing communications systems.

Crossbar Swap and Electromechanical Switching (1938 – 1970s)
The crossbar switch connects multiple inputs to outputs in a matrix manner its essentially a relay mechanism comprising ten horizontal paths and five or 20 vertical paths, determined by what size switch is required. Any horizontal path can be connected to any vertical path by way of magnets, and the points of connection are referred to as cross-points. Crossbar systems differ from Strowger systems in they are designed using the common manage concept, which sets up calls one an occasion, identifying a free path by means of link-trunked switches. The Strowger switch, crossbar switch and also Panel switch were early makes use of of electromechanical switches. An electromechanical switch opens and closes through an electromagnet power is applied to the coil or magnet, which unwraps or closes mechanical contact factors, pre-wired in a configuration suited best to the application.

Stored Program Control Analog (1965-1990s)
Stored program control (SPC) is the technical term for telephone exchanges controlled by the computer program stored in the memory with the system. Electromechanical switches had zero software control. There are two types of SPC: centralized, where all the control equipment is replaced by a single processor that has in order to handle 10 to 100 phone calls per second, and distributed, which is more available and reliable as compared to centralized SPC and includes straight and horizontal decomposition.

Digital Transferring (1976 present)
A digital switch handles electronic digital signals generated at or passed by having a telephone company’s ESS and then forwards them along the company’s backbone network. It receives digital signals which have been converted from users analog impulses and switches them over along with other incoming signals out on the WAN. Digital switches connect several digital circuits based on a dialed contact number or other instruction. Which brings us to…

VoIP softswitch (1998 present)
The actual proliferation of VoIP communications among organizations and consumer has led to the softswitch today. VoIP softswitches are put into Class 4 and Class 5 softswitches. Class 4 softswitches are mainly used to route a lot of long-distance VoIP calls and with regard to transit VoIP traffic between insurers, and Class 5 softswitches are used for both local and long-distance calls but are intended to cooperate with end-users they offer services for example IP PBX (News – Alert) attributes, call center services, calling card platforms and varieties of authorization. We are seeing the transformation from softswitches to media entrance controller (MGC) in IP multimedia system subsystems (IMSs), which are architectural frameworks for delivering IP multimedia system services.

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