03 Nov The Rodney Dangerfield of Technologies?
Fax just don’t get no respect! Every business uses fax, but, until recently, making FoIP work has been, at best, an afterthought by our industry. Item: wideband voice, a relatively new technology, is considered a major driver of ENUM, which allows pure-IP routing for HD (or wideband) voice. But there is only now strong evidence, after one year of testing by the SIP and i3 Forums, that pure-IP routing will be required for reliable FoIP over international routes. In both cases, analog TDM call segments muck up the works, but only HD voice is mentioned as a driver of ENUM in telecom forums.
I guess that, even though fax is a pervasive medium in business, it’s just not sexy; HD voice is sexy, but it’s barely deployed. But at Commetrex we are working to turn this around. We realize that unless and until the industry deploys reliable international FoIP, telephony’s global transition to IP cannot and will not be complete.
There are those that say that if we drag it out long enough, fax, a 161-year-old commercial technology, will go away. Don’t hold your breath. Others are working to promulgate alternative proprietary technologies, but the international carriers aren’t going along. They are investing in finding the answers, both interim and otherwise.
The interim answer that has been advanced is for on-ramp (calling) gateways to insert “user=fax” in the initial SIP Invite, thereby alerting the carrier’s routing software to route the call over routes tested to be fax-friendly…no TDM segments. The longer-term solution is to move away from SS-7 to ENUM, a technology that joins E.164 telephone numbers to the Internets Domain Name System (DNS), which gives the carrier’s routing software even more information for “intelligent routing.”
So what do you think?