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Happy New Year!

How was your 2011? Better than 2010? Worse? What are you looking for in 2012? For Commetrex, it was better than 2010, and we are expecting 2012 to be better than 2011. Hope yours is too. Other things being equal, that will make 2012 a happy new year for just about everyone reading this.

We have two big goals for 2012: No, not to lose weight, although that wouldn’t hurt, but to complete the SIP Forum-i3 Forum FoIP testing and give the international carrier community the information needed to complete the transition of the global telecom network from TDM to IP. And, secondly, move Smart ATA into the marketplace, allowing ITSPs to stop saying to their subscribers: “Keep your POTS lines for fax.”

Hope you accomplish your goals for 2012 and have a Happy New Year! From all of us at Commetrex.

End-to-End FoIP for the ITSP

As SIP trunking goes mainstream, ITSPs are forced to decide whether to support FoIP or tell their subscribers: “Keep your POTS lines for fax.” If it’s the latter, they force their subscribers to either find an ITSP that does support FoIP or continue to pay $40.00 per month for those POTS lines. If it’s the former, they need to master the added challenge presented by FoIP.

Customer-satisfying FoIP requires that FoIP sessions meet the timing requirements of T.30, the end-to-end fax protocol, and the data-integrity requirements of the image-transfer modems. Doing so requires much greater attention to the technology of the network components, network design, and testing than does voice, but the experience and technical mastery of FoIP necessary for success is not usually available to the ITSP.

Now, Commetrex is doing something about the problem. Our FoIP experience is based on 20 years in fax technology and our 14-year experience in FoIP.This means that, at Commetrex, T.30 problems are solved by T.30 developers, modem problems by modem developers, and T.38 problems by T.38 developers. Moreover, FoIP routing and peering problems are solved by the same engineers that have been testing and solving network-based problems for the last five years. Commetrex is now making that unequalled experience available to the ITSP in consulting engagements. Moreover, the Commetrex consultant has unique resources to bring to bear on the FoIP problems of the ITSP.

If the ITSP prefers to offer ATAs for legacy-terminal IP connectivity, the NetGen Communications Smart ATA, exclusively with Commetrex’ Smart FoIP, is the only ATA that gives subscribers T.38 and G.711 pass-through fax success rates that rival PSTN fax. (Smart ATA also supports V.34 FoIP.)

Eliminating those costly POTS lines dedicated to fax can support diverts money from the incumbent to your pocket. With reliable FoIP, the timing is right to boost revenue by adding fax-related value-adding services, such as fax-to-email and email-to-fax. Commetrex’ BladeWare HMP fax media server also includes Smart FoIP, giving the ITSP the same connectivity advantages as Smart ATA.

But once those fax calls are ready for hand-off to a carrier, what happens? Will business-as-usual routing do the trick? Often it does not and that is where Commetrex’ five years of FoIP testing comes into play. Make it work for you with an FoIP consulting engagement.

At Commetrex, our motto is “We make FoIP work!” So, if you are an ITSP and you want your FoIP to work, all you need do is call Commetrex at 770-449-7775 and press 1. Of course, sales@commetrex.com will also work.

ITEXPO East 2012

Scheduled for February 1-3 in Miami Beach (there are worse places to be in February), ITEXPO East is less than three weeks away. We hope that you’re all set with reservations and registration. And we hope you’ll visit us in booth 524 to learn all about Smart ATA and BladeWare, the only products in the show with Smart FoIP, making them the only products that eliminate the two biggest problems in FoIP.

Mike Coffee, our CEO, has two speaking slots: On Thursday at 8:30 he will be on the “Paperless Office” panel. And, also on Thursday, at 2:00, he and Max Schroeder of FaxCore will together update you on the progress of the FoIP testing being conducted by the SIP and i3 Forums.

If you would like to arrange a less-hurried visit, send us an e-mail requesting a meeting appointment. We’d be pleased to sit down with you to discuss your requirements.

The Three Faces of Smart ATA

The versatility and features of Smart ATA are unequalled in its ATA category of one or two FXS ports.

  • ATA function with one or two FXS ports
  • IAD function with MGCP and comprehensive CLASS/call control features
  • IP-PSTN gateway function with two FXO ports

Then there’s Smart FoIP and T.38 version 3 with V.34. So, Smart ATA is more than just an ATA. It’s an MGCP-based voice IAD. It’s also a PSTN-IP gateway. Smart ATA comes in three configurations:

ModelsPhone/Fax PortsOffice Ports10/100 Ethernet
Smart ATA 22222
Smart ATA 11112
Smart ATA 02202

What Is Telephony?

Well, it shouldn’t be hard to define like pornography (“I know it when I see it.”) But if you look on the Web, you’ll see definitions all over the place and they all seem wanting in some way. So, let’s give it a shot, shall we?

Well, “tele” comes from a Greek word meaning “far off, afar, yonder (we’re from the South), or at a distance,” according to Webster. And “phone” or phonetics, also of Greek origin, refers to speech sounds. So, there we have telephone and telephony, the former being the thing and the latter being the system required for the thing to work. But that doesn’t cut it in today’s world, where telephony commonly includes, in addition to voice; fax, video, and data, since, with IP telephony, the transport is media agnostic.

Okay, what is it? What distinguishes telephony from two tin cans and a taught string? Would two sound-powered phones connected by a twisted pair be telephony? Well, we’re going to say no. We’re going to bring time into the definition and limit telephony to ad hoc communications sessions. Try this:

“Ad hoc electronic-based communications sessions whereby an originating party utilizes a third-party addressing scheme and facilities to establish a communications session with a second party.”

What do you think?