Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between SBC and SoftSwitch in NGN

SBC vs SoftSwitch in NGN

SBC, which stands for Session Border Controller, and SoftSwitch are two terms that are closely related to telephony and VoIP in particular. These are basically two of the ways you can control calls over an IP network. The main difference between SBC and SoftSwitch is the approach. An SBC is a hardware device that controls the signaling needed for conducting a phone call. On the other hand, the word “SoftSwitch” is a combination of the words “software” and “switch.” SoftSwitch is a software running on a computer and performs the necessary switching to connect a call from one point to another.

Due to the inherent abstract nature of the term SoftSwitch and the blurring line between computers and electronic devices, an SBC is considered one type of SoftSwitch. Different types of SBCs also vary greatly depending on where they are used and the amount of traffic that they are meant to handle.

One of the advantages of having an SBC is the added security it provides; usually denial of service attacks or manipulation of toll rates. SoftSwitch does not have its own security measures and relies on other network elements, like a firewall, to protect itself from malicious intrusions and manipulation.

Another important aspect of SBC is its ability to comply with regulatory requirements for telephone systems. Most SBCs are able to accommodate emergency calls allowing users to call 911 or any other emergency number with the same phones that they use for VoIP. Lawful interception, or the acquisition of call details like time, date, and even the content of the call by law enforcement agencies for the purpose of criminal prosecution is also possible.

The introduction of NGN and the technologies behind it has made the role of SoftSwitch and an SBC more prominent. This is because NGN moves away from the traditional PSTN architecture for voice communications into a packet-oriented architecture or VoIP. The voice switching infrastructure used in legacy systems would no longer be employed in NGN, and voice communications need to go through an SBC or SoftSwitch in order to be facilitated.


1.SBC is a piece of hardware while SoftSwitch is a software running on a computer.
2.SBC is also commonly called a “softswitch.”
3.SBC adds security while SoftSwitch does not.
4.SBC complies with regulatory requirements while SoftSwitch does not.

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