Understanding VoIP technology at its most basic level is critical, as it allows us to then understand the challenges companies face with sending fax over this medium.
VoIP technology carries voice information in digital form, using packet switching over a network based on various Internet protocols such as WAN, LAN or the public Internet. In other words, a VoIP phone call transfers data from one computer system to another, disassembling a voice message into data packets, which may run along many different switching routes before being put back together at a given termination point.
It was found very quickly that although this medium was acceptable for voice transmission, fax was the wild card factor – primarily due to burst packet loss or packet loss in general – and very quickly became a large stumbling block for this technology due to its unreliability.
Around 1998, the T.38 fax relay standard was devised as a way to permit faxes to be transported across IP networks between existing Group 3 Fax terminals. Meanwhile, VoIP began to gain ground as an alternative to the PSTN. Since most VoIP systems are optimized via lossy bandwidth for compression savings with voice rather than data calls, it was quickly found that although T.38 works very well within a controlled environment (i.e. Lan or Wan network), when faced with the open Internet or other mediums such as Wi-Fi, cellular and satellite, conventional fax machines using the T.38 protocol performed poorly, or even worse – not at all.
Needless to say, basing a VoIP or ISP business on instability is always a bad plan. This is due to many factors; the mirage of carrier switch to switch hops due to its design, delay, jitter and primarily packet loss.
The result of the T.38 poor performance was that VoIP ISP providers still to this day resort to one of three options: using the existing T.38 technology – a “cross your fingers” approach to installing fax on your VoIP network and simply hoping it works; having the competing telecom company put in a pots line; or ignoring the situation altogether, or for that sake, don’t even talk about it.
All of these options are not only unacceptable, but end up in a loss of a perfectly good revenue stream, causing hours upon hours of un-necessary frustration for VoIP and ISP providers. To have a sticky customer is what all VoIP and ISP providers want – not a customer who will shop around for another provider because of fax issues, which in some cases, cause the loss of voice, data and fax.
I have to ask myself, “Why are people spending millions of dollars trying to improve and promote T.38?” I personally think it is this: “I have gone too far now and invested too much to quit and give up.”
While great in a lab or test bed environment, this mentality simply doesn’t cut it when it comes to the real dollars and cents businesses of VoIP and ISP providers worldwide, who are currently suffering because of an inherent need to force feed a specific ideal for a protocol to the industry – one that was not designed for use on the open Internet.
When there is a simple, blatantly obvious technology that has been around for years, it is tried, true, tested and works with fax.
Why not use standard Internet protocols instead of protocols like T.38, which were not intended for use on the open Internet? These internet protocols are stable, reliable, secure, and not susceptible to the mirage of carrier switch to switch hops, delay, jitter and packet loss.
With the introduction of HTTPS, you can fax over the open Internet with Wi-Fi, cellular and satellite, as well further your use of ECM (error correction mode).
To sweeten the pot - simple, fast installation, and using only one-fifth of the bandwidth; the question is simple. “Why am I not switching to HTTPS Fax?”
The answer is even simpler…
HTTPS fax-to-fax can help transform your current unreliable fax protocols for reliable, secure connections over the open Internet, wireless, cellular and satellite all at once and in real-time. To learn more about HTTPS fax and FaxSIPit, visit the company at this year’s highly anticipated ITEXPO (News - Alert) Miami 2013 Conference. Being held at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami, Florida from January 29 to February 1, the event serves as one of the world’s largest connecting technology buyers, sellers, resellers and manufacturers. FaxSIPit will be exhibiting at booth #625.
To find out more about FaxSIPit, visit the company at ITEXPO Miami 2013, taking place Jan. 29- Feb 1 in Miami, Florida. Visit FaxSIPit in booth #625. For more information on ITEXPO Miami 2013, click here.
Edited by Allison Boccamazzo