FoIP: definitions, errors, interconnections and performance issues

Faxing is mostly used for legal documents. This is because it is easy to send/receive documents via fax and, moreover, it is demanded due to certain legal regulations: Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA etc.

Because of these reasons, faxing is not going to disappear soon. It will evolve and follow the current technological and business trends. Fax over IP is, for instance, is a natural development for the faxing industry.


So what is FoIP?

The fax is connected to the VoIP interface on the network and is treated like a standard

voice call. The fax signals are encoded into a digital format, just as any voice call. That’s what FoIP means. Simple as that.


The following figure shows how FoIP works by using T.38 protocol. Find out more about T.38 protocol on Wikipedia.




The next point would be to show which the benefits of FoIP are, and then we will continue with the possible errors.

Comply effectively with business requirements (such as Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, Basel II, and others) by providing electronic document storage/management, automated delivery, receipt confirmation, and security

Reduce maintenance and management costs by enabling a single converged voice, fax, and data network

Reduce operating costs by eliminating analog fax lines and integrating MFPs, lowering long-distance fax bills with least-cost-routing, and allowing high economy of scale with VoIP gateways and centralized fax servers

Increase efficiency with smart process flows for creating, receiving, routing, reviewing, and approving documents

Lower labor costs by automating manually intensive tasks such as generating invoices, purchase orders, loan applications, and order confirmations.


Let’s see now what the errors that can show up are.

Packet Loss: This is the most serious impairment and means that the data stream cannot be fully recombined at the other end. FoVoIP is very sensitive to this and a small level can often lead to failure. If FoIP is configured with redundancy, relatively large levels of loss can be accepted.

Packet Delay: unavoidable delay in the packet; the level will depend on the length of the network path and the level of congestion within the network.

Packet Jitter: Jitter is a variation of delay between packets. Above a certain level the affected packet(s) will be considered lost and FoIP audio will be broken, resulting in fax failure. It is very important to take into consideration the quality of service requirements when talking about FoIP; this means the accepted level of network impairments or the required bandwidth. This is a crucial element to take into account when dealing with important, official documents.

You can read further how Visendo Fax Server uses T.38 media gateways from Lancom or Funkwerk.

Download and try Visendo Fax Server now and see for your self how flexible it is.

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