VoIP at Level 3 started in 1997 with an internal project on inter-working of SS7 and IP. The project aimed to separate control and media elements for IP data traffic and was initially named as SIOS (SS7-IP Operating System) project. Sometime during 1998, SIOS was renamed as Softswitch. It was the Level 3 team that actually coined the term. Apart from the term Softswitch, other VoIP product names that are generally used today also have their origin in the early Level 3 VoIP project. Some of them include â€˜Media Gatewayâ€™, â€˜Trunking Gatewayâ€™, â€˜SS7 Gatewayâ€™ etc etc.
We have selected Level 3 (as one of the 10 organizations that established VoIP industry) for its important role in defining standards such as MGCP. Itâ€™s work in the area of softswitch has no parallel among the service providers. No other service provider in the history of VoIP has contributed so much to VoIP technology. The company accelerated the deployment of VoIP domestic long distance wholesale service in the industry. It played a dominant role in transitioning VoIP from international long distance wholesale to national long distance wholesale. Large scale softswitch deployments were not known till Level 3 came up with its offering.