Made Easy And Cheap With Internet
on to find how IP Faxing, the convergence of the
Internet, computer and fax, offers several advantages
over traditional faxing.
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.
For 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.
Internet 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 users. Internet 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.
Internet 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
whole lot of new 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
The 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.
Least 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. The 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 world.
As 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
The 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:
Fax To Fax
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.
Fax 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.
Here the benefits of P2F are that one can directly
fax a computer-generated document without taking
a hard print paper copy.
Email To Fax (E2F)
Here the sender doesn't need to have a fax machine.
A client software would be installed on 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. NM
Courtesy: Grand Infotech