made easy and cheap with Internet
also known as Facsimile, has emerged as the most
popular communication media, both for business communication
and personal requirements. Fax has become a proven
standard media through which written messages, important
documents, diagrams, letters, etc, can be communicated.
Probably there would be no office or business place
without a fax machine. It is a vital media of identity
in an office or an individual's contact address.
its reliability and security features, Fax has become
a legally accepted document worldwide. People insist
on communicating through faxes for all the benefits,
convenience and safety it offers.
is Internet Faxing?
Internet Faxing or IP Faxing is basically the convergence
of the Internet, computer and fax. Though faxing
has been the most popular medium for transmission
of documents, the high cost of telephone calls has
always been a matter of concern. Telecom companies
charging high rates on long distance, domestic and
international calls have made some people to look
for alternatives, but at the same time, not sacrificing
the convenience of sending faxes.
Faxing has emerged as the most appropriate solution
addressing concerns of ease, speed and cost. The
advantages of faxing are complemented with those
of the Internet to offer value and convenience to
integration has given a Midas touch to faxing not
only by addressing cost issues, but also offering
a host of other benefits and value adds, which conventional
faxing could not offer.
Faxing or IP faxing has been successfully deployed
worldwide and is growing at a rapid pace replacing
conventional faxing through telephones. A new market
with great potential has emerged offering a new
horizon of opportunities.
Faxing--How does it work?
One of the issues in traditional faxing is the high
telecom cost for domestic long distance calls and
international calls. In Internet Faxing, the system
bypasses the PSTN telephone network (DOT, MTNL,
VSNL, etc, in case of India) and sends it through
the Internet, thereby saving costs on making STD
or ISD calls.
sender of the fax does not have to change his dialing
habits. He just has to dial the destination fax
number as in the case of traditional faxing. The
Auto Dialer device connected to the sender's fax
machine would sense the dialed number for domestic
long distance (STD) and international (ISD) calls
and routes them to the nearest Internet Fax Server
(IFS) node by making a call through the PSTN network.
Usually this will be a local call and sometimes
a short distance STD. This depends on the location
of IFS node and the end customer. Autodialer will
not route local or short distance calls to IFS and
instead send it through PSTN as in the case of conventional
Receiving Internet Fax Server node (RIFS) verifies
with the client's account, password and authenticates
the incoming fax. The fax received would be encrypted
and compressed to a secured electronic file. Proprietary
encryption techniques are adopted to ensure highest
security standards. This file would automatically
be routed via Internet to the Terminating Internet
Fax Server (TIFS) node that is best suited to deliver
the fax to the final destination. The entire routing
table is based on Least Cost Routing mechanism.
The TIFS node, to which the fax is routed, receives
the fax and decodes the fax file back to the original
format. This TIFS node makes a PSTN telephone call
to the destination fax number and delivers the fax
message in the usual way. The whole process though
is not real time, will have a very minimal time
delay which is negligible.
Cost Routing (LCR) is a concept where the faxes
are routed not based on the distance but on the
cost. A hypothetical example for this could be a
fax from London, UK to Dhaka, Bangladesh. Let us
say there is an IFS node at Kolkata, India and none
at Bangladesh. The international call rate from
London to Dhaka is 80 cents/min.
ISD rate from Kolkata to Dhaka is around 70 cents/min.
The call rate from US to Dhaka is found to be 50
cents/min, which happens to be the cheapest in the
per Least Cost Routing Mechanism, the system is
programmed to terminate the call through the IFS
node from which the telephone rate to the final
destination is the last. In this case, the fax is
transmitted from London IFS node to US IFS node
via Internet based network. The US IFS node would
make a telephone call to Dhaka and terminate the
fax. In spite of Kolkata being geographically closer
to Dhaka, it is more economical to route it through
reason for this is that telecom rates worldwide
are not fixed based on distances. There are innumerable
telecom operators worldwide. They have tie-ups and
understanding with other telecom companies for different
countries. Pricing for international calls would
be more based on volumes, capacities and other criteria
and not purely on distances.
The wide range of services include:
Here, both the sender and the receiver need to have
fax machines. Autodialer is connected to the sender's
fax machine for routing the faxes. Fax is transmitted
through IFS nodes of the service provider and is
delivered to the destination number.
Here, a single fax message can be sent to multiple
fax numbers at one shot. In conventional faxing,
if the same fax message were to be sent to let us
say around 500 numbers, probably it would be one
person's job for the whole day. Individually dialing
each and every number is not only a repetitive and
laborious process, but leads to human errors. Monotonous
working would result in dialing wrong numbers and
fatigue. Above all, the time taken in retrying for
engage tones is so great that the fax machine is
kept busy for the whole day.
broadcasting services not only address the issue
of time and physical efforts, but also the total
cost of doing so.
PC to Fax (P2F)
It is observed that most of the documents and messages
faxed, are generated by computers using DTP software.
Conventionally one needs to take a print out from
a printer, go near a fax machine, dial the destination
number and send it across.
the benefits of P2F are that one can directly fax
a computer-generated document without taking a hard
print paper copy.
to Fax (E2F)
Here the sender doesn't need to have a fax machine.
A client software would be installed in the user's
PC. This software would convert the fax message
to an email and send it to the 'Email to Fax' server.
This would further be terminated as a fax message
at the receiver's end.
Courtesy: Grand Infotech