We Make FoIP Work!

Now that enterprises are extending the reach of their IP networks by connecting directly with IP carriers and SIP trunking, we are confronted with challenges of a different sort. The front lines of the FoIP wars have moved.

In his latest CEO Commentary, Mike Coffee discusses how Commetrex is fully engaged in “making FoIP work.” Today, we are working with carriers to correct the problems within their networks that are keeping FoIP from achieving the transaction success rates of PSTN fax. If IP is going to replace TDM, it has to happen, and Commetrex is leading the way.

Check out his CEO Commentary to learn how “We Make FoIP Work!” And there’s more information on our Blog.

An Industry First: Commetrex Enhances BladeWare with G.711 Pass-Through Support for V.34

Commetrex, inventor of T.38 fax termination now used in media servers everywhere, continues its record of innovation with the announcement of its industry-first support for V.34 G.711 pass-through in its BladeWare HMP telephony platform. This means that BladeWare users can elect to complete IP fax calls using V.34, rather than forcing a fallback to V.17 speeds, which take twice as long to transmit a page. This is important since there are few T.38 Version 3 V.34-capable gateways on the market, and none deployed in carrier networks. Indeed, many VoIP service providers have yet to support T.38 in any version. In these situations, BladeWare delivers faxes with one-half the connection time of any server on the market.

For example, here at Commetrex we use Cbeyond, an all-IP managed-services provider, for all of our communications over a 3-Mbit clear-channel pipe to Cbeyond’s private metro network. But they don’t support T.38. Instead, all faxes are handled with G.711 pass-through, including V.34, and they are virtually error-free. A BladeWare-based server is setup to use Cbeyond’s SIP trunking. It’s all software, all IP, and with V.34 support.

“But how can that be?” you say. “My vendor tells me that G.711 pass-through fax just doesn’t work.” Well, your vendor has a biased perspective since he can’t do it, and doesn’t want you to ask for it, knowing that only Commetrex supports V.34. Yes, there are networks where G.711 pass-through does not perform well, but there are many where it does. The example above is one. And how about when an IP PBX without T.38 support is being used as the gateway between the PSTN and the fax server? There, the IP connection is over a high-performance LAN. No packet loss need be dealt with, and Commetrex’ exclusive PCM-clock management software means even long G.711 faxes come through error-free.

Need a fax-resource platform to support IP and PSTN? We make FoIP work! Commetrex’ BladeWare provides the industry’s highest performance, richest feature set, highest scalability, and all at one-third the price. Give us a shot: or 1-770-449-7775 and press 1 for sales.

SIP Forum FoIP Task Group Update

The Chair of the FoIP Task Group is rotating from Dialogic to Cisco and Commetrex co-chairing the group. After serving as the chairman for a full year, Neil Weldon, of Dialogic is moving aside for Gonzalo Salgueiro, of Cisco, and Mike Coffee, of Commetrex. In addition to his co-chair duties, Gonzalo intends to focus initially on making sure the task group’s work product makes it to the appropriate standards organizations on time. Coffee will work to engage the i3 Forum to take full advantage of their growing cooperation to make contributions to the industry together that they could not readily make individually. The first task will be joint testing to quantify the ability of international tandem networks to reliably set up SIP-based FoIP calls.

After attending the i3 Forum’s meeting in Rome in January, Cliff Schornak, Commetrex’ CTO, and Kevin Fleming, of Digium, participated remotely in the i3 Forum’s meeting in Madrid. They reviewed several of the works in progress with the SIP Forum’s task group and provided Cliff with documents that detailed some of their in-process considerations. And just last week, Cliff attended the i3 Forum’s June meeting in Warsaw, where he and Jerzy Sodrowski were successful in recruiting several of the i3 Forum members in performing FoIP tests in cooperation with the SIP Forum. We will design and implement the tests and test platform over the summer, with testing scheduled for mid-September.

The task group’s three subcommittees have been busy. The T.38/V.34/V.8/V.152 Call Flow group has submitted their document to the ITU. T.38 Problems Related to SIP/SDP produced a new draft on March 17. And a document with a variety of exemplary SIP call flows is in process.

Learn more about the task group here. Here is a link to a recent joint press release from the SIP Forum and the i3 Forum.

When is a Fax Board Not a Fax Board?

When it’s a Commetrex MSP board, that’s when. You see, we don’t actually sell fax boards or voice boards. With the power of today’s PCs, that just doesn’t make much sense since a 2.2-Gig dual-core PC comfortably runs 60 V.17 channels with plenty of headroom left for your application. Once you’ve paid for the PC, which you gotta have anyway, using the available MIPS costs you no more than leaving them idle. So why not pay less than $200 per channel for your “fax board,” (software included) rather than $600?

And BladeWare now supports V.34, which requires more MIPS than V.17, but that’s not a problem. If you run BladeWare on a dual-core Intel-architecture machine, sending a V.34 fax requires 25 MIPS while receiving a V.34 fax requires 33 MIPS. So, more than half the MIPS are available for your application. Need more channels? Get a quad-core machine.

The price of these boards reflects their bare-bones functionality. What’s more, you write just one resource adapter, which enables your application to address

  • SIP-based
  • SIP-based G.711 pass-through fax,
  • 2-24-line mix-n-match FXS and FXO trunks,
  • Single-, dual-, and quad-span E1/T1 with ISDN PRI, and
  • 2-48-ports of ISDN BRI.

And all on the same system at the same time.

BladeWare and Virtual Machines

BladeWare and FoIP are making allies out of the IT guys, who previously weren’t always supporters of enterprise fax servers. After all, it was a telephony thing. But the broad adoption of VM technology in hosted and enterprise-based applications and BladeWare’s all-software implementation of FoIP mean that a Windows-based enterprise fax-server application, for example, can be just another application running in a Linux-based server farm.

One of our enterprise-fax OEMs has a broadcast-fax customer that recently scaled his previously all-TDM operation with a 100-port BladeWare and Windows-based fax-server addition by adding the Windows-based broadcast software into a Linux-based colo using VM technology.

There’s 100 ports of BladeWare FoIP banging away 24×7, making money. And it does it for one-third the price of the alternative.

To get all the details, contact us at 770-449-7775 or