Leading industry groups aim to improve global IP Fax transmission delivery with the first widespread FoIP testing program of its kind
NORTH ANDOVER, MA (SEPTEMBER 8, 2010) – The SIP Forum (www.sipforum.org) and the i3 Forum (www.i3forum.org) announced a new testing program for Fax-over-Internet-Protocol (FoIP) services, aimed at identifying and qualifying transmission impairments and interoperability challenges that have arisen in IP-based networks as the T.38 protocol has become more widely deployed across carrier and enterprise network topologies. The first-of-its-kind testing program, which will take place from September through December 2010, will bring together a host of international communications carriers from North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Middle East to examine global FoIP communications. T.38 is the international standard that supports the use of IP networks to transport real-time faxes.
“As an organization of international carriers, it is our primary interest to rely on reliable Fax-over-IP interconnection. Fax is an important service for our members’ customers, and as a result, we are committed to solving the service reliability problems experienced while migrating international interconnect to IP. We are sure that, on the basis of the experience gained in this testing campaign with SIP Forum FoIP Task Group, we can improve the IP interconnection implementation time and save time and money presently devoted to troubleshooting and bug fixing” said Philippe Millet, Chairman of the i3 Forum.
The testing program will log fax calls between carriers, creating a large database of detailed information about how IP fax calls are handled amongst the program participants. More than a dozen carriers on four continents have signed up to participate in the test and the SIP Forum and i3 Forum will be accepting new participants well into the fourth quarter of 2010.
“The scope of vendors and carriers participation we have organized for this test is truly unprecedented in the realm of the telecom industry. The time has come to ensure that IP fax and application suites that utilize FoIP, such as unified communications, continue to be rolled out with the highest reliability and assured performance,” said Mike Coffee, CEO of Commetrex and Co-Chair of the SIP Forum’s FoIP Task Group. “IP fax communications has unique characteristics and special requirements compared to VoIP traffic, and this testing program will give us a deeper understanding of what is happening within the underlying network infrastructure of each participating carrier and especially the inter-carrier signaling of each IP fax call.”
The SIP Forum’s FoIP Task Group and members of the i3 Forum will conduct a thorough analysis of the data from the tests in early 2011, and resulting recommendations regarding improvements to the current T.38 specification will be made to the appropriate standards bodies, including the ITU-T and International Engineering Task Group (IETF).
The testing is also the first major initiative undertaken by the SIP Forum/i3 Forum Partnership launched earlier this year.
“The unique cooperation between the SIP Forum and the i3 Forum is what makes this testing program possible, as it brings together a diverse group of equipment vendors and leading, international communications carriers,” said Richard Shockey, Chairman of the Board of the SIP Forum. “We expect our combined resources to yield a considerable amount of actionable data that will provide us with the intelligence we need in order to improve the interoperability and reliability of fax communications over IP networks, especially tandem networks – something that end-users around the world demand.”
For more information about the work of the SIP Forum’s FoIP Task Group, and to view or download copies of published documentation related to the ongoing work on FoIP, visit http://www.i3forum.org/library.
About the SIP Forum
The SIP Forum’s FoIP Task Group was first launched in late 2008 to address the technical and interoperability challenges involving the transmission of fax documents over a SIP-enabled network. The group outlined some of the issues in the fall of 2009 in its FoIP Problem Statement v.1.0, and more recently with the publication of the T.38 SIP-SDP Problem Statement.
The FoIP Task Group leadership includes Mike Coffee, CEO of Commetrex, and Gonzalo Salgueiro of Cisco, who serve as Task Group Co-Chairs; Marc Robins, President and Managing Director of the SIP Forum; Max Schroeder, Sr. VP. Faxcore, who serves as the Task Group Whip; and document editors including Michael Chen, LSI Corporation, and Kevin P. Fleming, Director of Software Technologies, Digium, Inc.
The SIP Forum is an IP communications industry association that engages in numerous activities that promote and advance SIP-based technology, such as the development of industry recommendations, the SIPit interoperability and testing events, special interoperability workshops, educational seminars, special interest groups, and general promotion of SIP in the industry.
One of the Forum’s notable technical activities is the development of the SIPconnect Technical Recommendation – a standards-based recommendation that provides detailed guidelines for direct IP peering and interoperability between IP PBXs and VoIP service provider networks.
The SIPconnect Compliant Certification Program is an associated program through which eligible companies can gain SIPconnect validation and the right to license the use of the SIP Forum’s ‘SIPconnect Compliant’ certification mark – the official brand of the leading standard for SIP Trunking products and services. Other important Forum initiatives include work in Fax-over-IP interoperability, User Agent Configuration, and the opportunities for SIP in Smart Grid deployments. For more information, please visit: https://www.sipforum.org.
About the i3 Forum
The i3 Forum started in mid 2009 the analysis and study of Fax-over-IP in the “Technical Aspects” WS, chaired by Alessandro Forcina, of Telecom Italia Sparkle. The delivery of the first FoIP document addressing technical specifications is planned by next October, with Jerzy Soldrowsky, of Telecom Poland, as document editor and task leader.
The i3 Forum brings together the communications expertise of more than 37 telecommunications operators representing a combined retail base in excess of one billion customers in over 80 countries. The goal of the i3 Forum is to develop collaborative recommendations for an industry-wide transition of voice and related services to Internet Protocol (IP). The forum’s unified effort to expedite global IP-based voice implementation will enhance worldwide communication by supporting widespread access to innovative and high quality IP-based services and applications. For more information, please visit: www.i3forum.org.
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