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Miami: We’re Turning up the Heat on FoIP

No POTS for FaxWe’ll be in Miami Beach at the end of the month for ITEXPO East 2013, January 30 – February 1. If you’re going to be at the show, please come by booth #612 and say hello. And while you’re there, learn how we’re making FoIP work in carrier networks.

Our focus for the show is our patent-pending Smart FoIP® technology, which won Best Service Provider Solution at ITEXPO West 2012 in October. The technology is currently available in Smart ATA®, an analog telephone adapter available from NetGen Communications.

Smart FoIP is poised to change FoIP, specifically for ITSPs. Because Smart FoIP resolves two of the most common problems that cause FoIP calls to fail, it enables ITSPs to stop telling their customers to keep their POTS lines for faxing. Finally, an all-IP telecom network is a reality.

So what does Smart FoIP do to make FoIP work? A late arriving T.38 re-Invite from the receiving gateway can cause a call to fail if the re-Invite is accepted when it should actually be rejected. This is no longer an issue with Smart FoIP. The technology also eliminates PCM-clock synchronization problems, which are responsible for a large percentage of G.711 pass-through fax failures.

If you’re an ITSP who has customers complaining about FoIP, or if you’re a business that’s trying to move to an all-IP network, Smart FoIP is your solution. Call us at 770-449-7775 or email us for more info. Better yet, make your plans for ITEXPO.

SIP Forum & i3 Forum Partner for Phase III FoIP Testing

After two lengthy testing campaigns, the SIP Forum and i3 Forum have recently begun a third round of testing to validate the key conclusion reached in the first two. Specifically, the joint testing program found that using the Internet for SIP- and T.38-based FoIP calls gave PSTN-like success rates, but when carriers were used to route FoIP calls using their ISUP-based least-cost routing, success rates dropped to just 50% for international calls. So, as reported on the i3Forum website, the thing to do to bring FoIP success rates up is to approximate the Internet with carrier-routed FoIP calls. This problem is no different from HD voice, which requires that the carriers route HD voice calls over an all-IP route or else you lose the HD in HD voice.

So, the call’s route may not include any TDM segments except for ingress and egress, but how is that done when (in T.38 Version 0) the off-ramp/called gateway is responsible for issuing a SIP reInvite to T.38 based on detecting fax tones from the called terminal? Obviously, by that time the call has been routed to the off-ramp gateway, it’s too late to make sure there are no TDM/PSTN call segments in the route.

The SIP Forum has submitted a draft proposal to the IETF to extend RFC 3840 by adding a new media-feature tag “+SIP.FAX” to inform the call-routing entity that the call will likely be a fax.

If you would like to learn more about the SIP Forum, the FoIP Task Group, or just have a question about the testing, please visit the SIP Forum website or email marc.robins@sipforum.org.

Now, Smart ATA Can Call Home!

Smart ACS, available for no charge to any Smart ATA customer, is now through development and version 1.0 will be released at the end of January.

If you are an end user, downloading the latest Smart ATA firmware from the NetGen website is no big deal. But, if you are a service provider with hundreds or thousands of units in the field, a system to automatically update and manage the ATAs is essential. This is often referred to as an “auto-configuration server” (ACS), which is part of an “element management system” (EMS).

Smart ACS Navigation

NetGen Communications’ Smart ACS, based on OpenACS, implements the “CPE WAN Management Protocol” (CWMP) specified in the Broadband Forum’s TR-069 specification. In its first release, Smart ACS includes an application-level script that allows Smart ATA to automatically register with Smart ACS and obtain the latest firmware. Thereafter, updates will be automatically downloaded and applied. Smart ACS is made available to Smart ATA customers under the GNU General Public License version 2.0 (GPLv2).

You can still download firmware from the NetGen website. And, of course, if your current EMS does not use TR-069, you can manage Smart ATA with its support for FTP, HTTP, and Telnet.You can also configure your ATAs so they will use NetGen’s online Smart ACS. (The URL is specified inside the packaging.) And, for a fee, we’ll even host the ACS for you as a service.

In addition to configuration and release-level support, Smart ACS is a platform for subscriber support. Through Smart ACS, tech-support reps can query the configuration of the subscriber’s device without the subscriber’s involvement and immediately correct the configuration or release-level status of the ATA. Of course, there’s always SNMP and many other support options.

Smart ACS is delivered as a complete package, all you need is a Linux machine. As OpenACS was developed using the JBoss application server, Smart ACS is based on JBoss 4.2.3 and Java JDK 1.6, which are packaged with the Smart ACS download.

Features

  • Built on Web protocols
  • Active interoperability program
  • Ready-to-deploy
  • Standards based
  • Firmware management
  • Performance monitoring
  • Online diagnostics
  • Works behind firewalls
  • SSL security
  • Online device query
  • Connects with back-end systems

Benefits

  • Improved subscriber experience
  • Reduced in-house development
  • Remotely configure and update Smart ATA
  • Reduced support costs
  • Quick to market

To learn more about NetGen Communications, Smart ATA, or Smart ACS, send an e-mail to marketing@NetGenCommunications.com.

Where Is the FaxTap for SIP Beta?

Well, it’s about two months behind schedule, that’s where. It’s running, and we and our Alpha customer (yes, we have an alpha customer) are submitting test cases to process, mostly of V.34 calls. And we need to complete the first draft of the manual. So, we’re looking at the end of January or early February.

FaxTap for SIP allows network operators and equipment vendors to analyze FoIP calls from Wireshark captures and render the image, even if the call uses the high-speed V.34 fax modem, and it does it for both G.711 pass-through and T.38 version 3 calls.

The open-source Wireshark program has been, and remains, the industry’s pre-eminent SIP-analysis tool. But those that use it to help diagnose FoIP problems know that Wireshark’s analysis of a fax call can be misleading. For example, Wireshark incorrectly flags any RTP packets following a re-Invite to T.38 as “malformed T.38″ packets. Moreover, it has problems handling T.38 version 3 calls with V.34. And, of course, Wireshark does not render the image or provide much in the way of T.30 analysis. FaxTap for SIP picks up where Wireshark leaves off.

FaxTap provides multiple levels of call analysis. The most basic is merely to render the fax image and provide a synopsis of the session. The most detailed level provides a ladder diagram, listings of every T.38 frame, T.30 frame, and detailed image-line analysis. Low-level modem analysis can also be generated for all image-transfer modems, including V.34.

We would be pleased to tell you more about the FoIP analysis tool the industry has been asking for, so shoot an e-mail to marketing@commetrex.com.