$5.95 Per Month Per Subscriber?
With products on the market in 1999, Cisco and Commetrex were early supporters of T.38 fax relay. For its part, Commetrex shipped its T.38 relay one year after T.38 was determined by the ITU. And today it’s the technology behind many of the industry’s finest gateways. But we knew that IP networks would soon need to host terminating-fax services, so we invented terminating T.38 and shipped serial number one for Commetrex and the industry in May 2001. This innovation has led to the increasingly wide deployment of IP-based hosted fax services. Today, the majority of worldwide service deployments are based on Commetrex’ BladeWare fax media server or our TerminatingT38 licensed media technology.
Meanwhile, Cisco used a different approach to meet the need for error-free IP-fax termination by adding the resources to selected Cisco gateways required to actually terminate PSTN faxes in the gateway. The fax image file could then be sent to the IP-based server via T.37, the ITU’s fax store-and-forward protocol. Even though this required significant additional compute power and RAM in every gateway in the network, the solution became widely deployed.
However, TerminatingT38 obviated the need for such a resource-intensive solution since it allows the fax media to be relayed through the relay to a centralized all-software fax media server. Faxes could be resent via T.38 through the network’s gateway, or e-mailed to and from subscribers, which is the function implemented by many of the TerminatingT38-equipped unified-messaging systems deployed today.
But Commetrex received requests for a more tightly focused solution. VoIP service providers have said, “Look, all we want to do is deploy a system that e-mails received faxes to our subscribers (fax-to-email) and fax image files we receive from our subscribers (email-to-fax).” We said, “OK”, and developed BladeWare Fax2Email and Email2Fax. And, in partnership with Agnity, Inc., a Fremont-based network consultancy, we’ve added the network-signaling features required to emulate the Cisco T.37-based solution, but without the expense and vendor lock-in of fax termination in the service provider’s gateways.
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