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T.38 Phase I to Phase II

Frustrated customer on the phone:

“I can’t make your BladeWare software work. It won’t even send a T.38 fax between two BladeWare systems in different locations.”

“Uhh…OK,” says the Commetrex tech. “How are the two locations connected?”

“Well, through my ITSP!”

That afternoon the ITSP e-mails to inform our customer that when his calls were re-routed through XO, rather than Global Crossing, they worked since Global Crossing had not yet “turned up the T.38 service.” And so it goes as we transition from T.38 Phase I to Phase II.

T.38 Phase I was a simpler time when T.38 was only used within the enterprise. The T.38 session stopped at the enterprise edge, as did the other IP telephony media. So, interop was limited to getting the IP-fax server or the T.38- capable analog telephone adapter (ATA) to work with the gateway. Took time in the early stages of Phase I, but pretty straightforward.

Now, we’re venturing into T.38 Phase II. With SIP trunking obviating the need for the enterprise gateway, users and vendors are looking for end-to-end T.38 transport from deep within the enterprise to the access service provider, through the backbone IP provider to the IP-PSTN gateway. This presents the system integrator with a lot of moving parts that, since we are still at the front end of Phase II, have never been tested. Users, OEMs, and service providers need T.38 pioneer, such as Commetrex, to help them put the pieces together.

If you’re interested in learning more about T.38′s transition from Phase I to Phase II, get in touch with Mike Coffee or call 770-407-6021 for a copy of Commetrex’ latest white paper, The State of IP Fax.

A Sign of Spring?

Possibly. We just killed a bug that had been hiding under the permafrost for 12 years.

One of our TerminatingT38 licensees that has widely deployed their media server as a hosted-services platform recently came up with a tough one. As luck would have it, the problem only showed up in the field; no amount of testing could duplicate the problem. Finally, we tracked it down to the product’s image-conversion library. Still couldn’t isolate it. Finally, a breakthrough! One of our customer’s engineers happened to be on site when the problem occurred and was able to capture the exact image data being processed. It turned out that the image data would never originate with a modem, well, none that we can imagine or have seen in 15 years. It would only come from a gateway…a T.38 peer that could create the perfect conditions required to let that bug emerge from the permafrost. It would only occur under these conditions:

  • The first buffer contained an end-of-line pattern,
  • The image line was longer than a valid line,
  • There were no more lines in the buffer,
  • The user had selected to add header in overlay mode.

Then it happened. Go figure! We’ve now added this file to our image-conversion library test vectors. Over the years, Commetrex has collected several files it uses in its regression-test suite. If you’d like to put your fax software to the test, we’d be glad to send our TIFF-F collection to you free of charge. All we ask in exchange is a little information. If you’re interested, email Cliff Schornak at call him at 770-407-6027. Make sure you give him your complete contact details and what, exactly, you’ll be testing.

Are You an OpenVXi User?

If you are, this is for you. As an OpenVXi user, you might have been looking for significant performance improvement, improved Linux support, built-in DTMF recognizer, or enhanced international support with double-byte characters. Well, now you can have it with Commetrex’ BladeWareVXi.

The good news about BladeWareVXi is that even with these added features, it is a virtual drop-in replacement for OpenVXi, as it utilizes the same APIs, so it’s a snap for you to migrate to the newer enhanced BladeWareVXi. Not only that, we intend to support VoiceXML 3.0 in BladeWareVXi, once the standard is ratified by the W3C.

And, by the way, in response to the current economic environment, we also announced a new pricing scheme that eliminates per-port charges and allows for a single annual fee or monthly payments, depending on your preference.

Contact us at sales@commetrex.com or 770-449-7775 for more information.

Interested in T.38 Interop & Load Testing?

Well, you have come to the right place. In 2002, Commetrex led the industry effort for T.38 interoperability when we launched the T.38 Interoperability Test Lab. Now, we’ve gone one step further and have introduced the BladeWare Fax Interop Test Suite (FITS), which supports the 16 tests we previously featured in the Interop Lab, allowing you to perform the same testing internally as was offered in the lab. BladeWare FITS is a ready-to-test system comprised of a client application based on the BladeWare stand-alone IP-based media server that supports T.38 and G.711 pass-through interop and load testing.

How does it work? FITS uses BladeWare to place and accept SIP calls and to send-receive faxes for testing purposes. BladeWare’s fax capability is based on Commetrex’ TerminatingT38, which is the same technology that became the industry’s T.38 reference standard through its use in Commetrex’ T.38 Interop Lab.

So, why did we discontinue the Interop Lab? We found that scheduling a mutually convenient time for our test engineers and those of our testing partners was a major obstacle. But with BladeWare FITS, a developer can perform the same tests with the same reference platform to his own schedule. The FITS product was originally developed as a means for our technology licensees to reduce their time-to-market. BladeWare FITS is licensed for 50 or 100 ports, so you can do load testing, as well at interop testing.

So, why did we discontinue the Interop Lab? We found that scheduling a mutually convenient time for our test engineers and those of our testing partners was a major obstacle. But with BladeWare FITS, a developer can perform the same tests with the same reference platform to his own schedule. The FITS product was originally developed as a means for our technology licensees to reduce their time-to-market. BladeWare FITS is licensed for 50 or 100 ports, so you can do load testing, as well at interop testing.

Want to learn more? Contact us at sales@commetrex.com or 770-449-7775