The State of FoIP: 3Q2012

In 3Q2012, the state of FoIP is good. Why? Because the right things are happening. In the enterprise, FoIP has become a given in the corporate network. True, many smaller organizations still keep their POTS lines for fax, but in larger private networks, fax is either done over SIP trunking or via gateways to the PSTN. But the real action is in service provider and carrier networks.

Here, the fabric of FoIP-capable networks is being woven tight enough for FoIP to work well in non-international calls. The enterprise hands off to the service provider which then hands off to a T.38-capable IP carrier, which then hands off to the ILEC or a competitive service provider. But don’t push your luck. Try to go very far beyond this and your success rate can plummet.

Why? Well, for one thing, the added complexity of the interconnections leaves just too much room for error. The large-footprint IP carrier and the ILEC don’t necessarily talk to each other, much less perform FoIP peering tests, which often turns out to be a critical omission. But not to worry: the SIP Forum and I3 Forum are working together to perform the necessary tests.

And Commetrex has developed patent-pending technology to solve three big problems: Using an ATA or low-cost gateway to replace fax boards results in faxes taking twice as long to transmit. Problem solved since Smart ATA supports V.34 fax. Late T.38 re-Invites from the carrier result in failed transactions. Problem solved since Smart ATA rejects late T.38 re-Invites. Long or multi-page faxes fail in G.711 mode. Problem solved since Smart ATA eliminates PCM clock-sync problems.

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