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We are encountering more and more uses of soft switches by LECs and CLECs. We are beginning to find that when they provide PRI circuits directly to the end-user, they have all kinds of incompatibility issues. It appears that it may have something to do with name delivery on the calls.

Since we are used to working with 5E's, DMS's and occasional Siemens switches in the CO, we don't normally have any trouble. Shouldn't they have to follow the normal NI2 protocols? Anybody else having these issues?


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The ones I've installed that are using the "soft switches" that are set to NI-2 I've had almost no problems. The ones where I've had to use other settings such as AT&T Custom (for Legend/Magix) I've had about 50% success. Some customers are happy as can be, others have had caller id issues, random lost calls (with no error reported), misc d-channel errors, you name it.

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How about defining 'soft switch' for yours truly, and any one else that needs to 'CATCH UP'. smile John C. (Not Garand)


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A switch that runs in software on a computer. A Software Switch.

I guess you could loosely think of it as VoIP at the CO Level.

Wikipedia - Softswitch Page

There's a wikipedia explanation.

Asterisk is one form of a softswitch technically, although it's simultaneous call capability somewhat limits it from using it in that purpose.

I've only had to use NI2 around here and dont have many PRI problems. The only problems I can complain about is that different switches dont necessarily give the same code for the same fault. Makes figuring out why a call hung up interesting.

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Thanks for the edification! smile John C. (Not Garand)


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I also have run into problems with soft switches. Caller ID isnt the only issue, I've also had issues with modems, predominantly but not limited to faxes. This is of course running on an analog port off of a PBX which in-turn is calling out over a PRI connected to a soft switch.

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that seems to be the trend which isnt going to change. everyone is switching over from these monster type switches that took up an entire room to these smaller soft switches that take up half a rack.


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The avaya Legend requires AT&T custom protocol and USLec's Santera softswitch would not work. They had to Put the PRI on a real 5ESS.

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Is this a bad dream? LECs and CLECs installing a CO switch on a PC?

What are they thinking?

What has happened to my industry!?!


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I just left the carrier side of the house. We were migrating to all Soft Switchs. Santera's, which got bought out by some other company about 1 year after they came out. The soft switch has a ton of issues, especially on dynamic T1 and dynamic PRI. They emulate the different protocols for L2 PRI. The main reason Carriers are migrating is cost and space saving. Avg 5e expansion is hundreds of thousands of dollars, and a SM takes up quite a lot of space. You can feed the same amount of circuits out of a soft switch in one rack space equivalent to I believe 4 SMs for about 300K, versus 2 million for 4 SMs.

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