A Softswitch is a software based-device in a VoIP network for managing traffic and routing calls within the network. Being the backbone of the system, it connects phone calls from one line to another, across the telecom network, or Internet connection. The VoIP Softswitch solutions have a lot of features which make them more attractive and user-friendly.

The main purpose of VoIP Softswitch is to handle VoIP calls. When we talk about the Softswitch, it is essential to know the difference between Class 4 and Class 5 Softswitch.

Class 4 softswitch
It is mainly used for routing large volumes of long-distance VoIP calls. This type of softswitch enables cost-efficient scaling of voice services while offering a reliable presence between inter-exchange carriers.

Class 5 softswitch
It works with the local users. It directly deals with the consumers and end users and route calls in relatively small areas compared to the class 4 softswitch. It is used to handle and route calls within a country, town, or a city specifically.

Undoubtedly, the Class 4 and Class 5 softswitches are complete VoIP solutions with a wide range of VoIP features. However, they greatly differ from each other.

Let’s have a look at their main differences:
Here are major differences between Class 4 and Class 5 Softswitch:

Main goal
Both route calls, but there is a huge difference between these VoIP Softswitches. The class 5 softswitch receives calls from end users and routes them between users, whereas class 4 softswitch receives calls from providers and routes them between carriers.

Features
The class 5 softswitch offers a wide range of features like dial tone, IVR, calling features, and other features whereas, Class 4 softswitch is a simpler solution enabling long distance calls.

Service type
The Class 4 softswitch is used to interconnect local interchange carrier offices in the public switched telephone network for long distance communications.
In contrast, Class 5 softswitch is a telephone exchange in the public switched the telephone network, located at the local central office directly serving end users.

Capabilities
The class 5 softswitch can transfer a small number of calls, whereas, Class 4 softswitch can handle many calls.

Main Peculiarities
The major characteristics of the class 4 softswitch are listed below:
• Protocol support and conversion
• Transcoding
• Calls per second rate
• Flexible UI (User Interface)
• Intelligent call routing
• Billing interface
The major characteristics of the class 5 softswitch are:
• Call authentication
• Billing and routing
• IVR
• Callback
• Analog-to-digital conversion
• Call transfer
• Social media usability

Conclusion
The Class 4 softswitch is used to support the long distance call routing. Let’s say for an example if one wants to make a call from India to Canada or USA, then the Class 4 softswitch will work here. It deals with the wholesale call traffic between and over exchanges as well as Local Access and Transport Areas. That is why the Class 4 softswitch solution is called the Wholesale softswitch solution; whereas the Class 5 softswitch deals with the local users. It route calls in relatively small areas as compared to Class 4 softswitch and therefore used to handle calls within a country or a specific region.

Author's Bio: 

Author works in a VoIP company which provides class 4 softswitch, class 5 softswitch and hybrid VoIP softswitch solutions.