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A media gateway is any device, such as a circuit switch, IP gateway, or channel bank that converts data from the format required for one type of network to the format required for another. As defined in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Request for Comments (RFC) 3015, a media gateway might terminate channels from a circuit-switched network (such as a DSO) as well as streaming media from a packet-switched network such as RTP streams in an IP network. Data input could be audio, video, or T.120 (real-time multi-point communications), which the media gateway would handle simultaneously. The media gateway controller is sometimes called a softswitch.
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