Fax Software Featured Article
Fax Testing Goes High Tech
November 12, 2012
News of the death of the fax machine has been greatly exaggerated.
Yes, e-mail and the cloud are superseding much of the role of the fax machine, but fax machines are still required for many businesses.
“Believe it or not fax is still very popular,” wrote telcom testing solutions provider GL Communications (News - Alert) “No business can be without a fax machine and some businesses, like banks, rely heavily on fax transmission for transactions involving money because faxes are considered legal documents.”
But the nature of fax is changing. Whereas facsimiles have traditionally been transmitted via analog telephone lines using what is known as the T.30 protocol, fax is now moving to the IP stack with the T.38 scheme.
With IP-based fax, explains GL, “transmission usually demodulates the modulated signal back to the original scanned bits and then transmits them via packets to the distant end where they are re-modulated to be sent to the destination fax machine.”
There are also new ways to test and analyze bulk fax setups that didn’t exist before. GL now offers a bulk fax simulation and analysis solution over T1 FXO FXS lines, for instance.
The Fax Simulator by GL “is capable of transmitting and receiving over many T1 E1 timeslots or through two-wire FXO and FXS lines,” according to the GL newsletter. “The software can emulate many ‘virtual fax machines’ - transmitter as well as receiver. All variations are supported.”
There are many reasons to use a fax simulator, including load testing and hardware analysis.
With load testing, fax simulators can send and receive hundreds of faxes simultaneously to check how the fax system performs under high use. One end can send and receive simultaneously on different timeslots, or over many T1 E1 lines--over many FXO or FXS lines. With GL’s Fax Simulator, any signaling protocol can be used such as PRI ISDN, SS7 or CAS, noted the GL newsletter.
There are many fax modulation protocols that can be used, with V.34 being the fastest. Fax simulators can test V.34 for proper functioning.
Some of the features of the GL Fax Simulator solution include high and low speed transmission handshakes, multiple page support, the ability to use ECM error correction or not, Alaw and µlaw, and use over T1 E1 digital lines, over PSTN FXO / FXS lines, or over VoIP (packet) networks, according to GL.
The software also can be used with any of GL’s Protocol Emulation tools such as MAPS CAS Simulator, MAPS ISDN Simulator or MAPS SS7 Simulator, according to the newsletter.
Fax is still alive—getting smarter. So are the tools to get the most of out of existing fax solutions.
Edited by Brooke Neuman