In a previous post we discussed about Fax support not being dead on IP systems and we see that Asterisk has now added improved fax working to it’s portolio of solutions with the addition of Fax for Asterisk software.
Users can download software from Digium’s online store. It is free for installations requiring only one fax session at a time, while multiple session licence is available for extra cost per simultaneous channel. The software allows faxing to and from the PSTN and IP telephony networks.
If the Asterisk IP PBX in question uses analogue PSTN line cards, the software sends faxes through those. It supports V.17, V.27 and V.29 fax modems, and operates at speeds of up to 14.4 Kbps. If the IP PBX installation uses an IP telephony service, the software will then use the T.38 protocol (if the provider supports it). Users send and receive faxes in the form of TIFF image files.
Fax is one of those technologies that will not go away so IP PBX vendors are being pushed by market forces to produce a solution and it is good to see Digium respond.
We have seen a press announcement that Voxbone has announced iNum, a one global telephone number that enables anyone to establish a local presence anywhere in the world. Voxbone is making use of the +883 “country code,” newly created by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), to create a global country code and associated banks of direct inward dial (DID) numbers.
”iNum is a new kind of phone number for a new kind of world–a world with a new geography that’s about local presence and global relationships, not about distance or national borders,” said Rodrigue Ullens, CEO and co-founder of Voxbone. “We believe the new geography is defined by the markets, customers and vendors that businesses need to connect with most. We need ‘local’ communication with these people whether calls originate on public-switched or VoIP networks, whether they are truly local or ‘virtually’ local.”
“We received our first iNum allocation and began testing ‘+883′ numbers in remote networks,” he said. “This month we begin a preview with several service providers, Jajah, Mobivox, Gizmo5, Ribbit, iotum, Rebtel, Voipbuster, Voxeo and Voipuser.” To create a number with “local” PSTN access around the world, Voxbone worked with the ITU to establish the +883 country code, in the same way that +44 is the country code that refers internationally to the United Kingdom and +1 to the United States.
“Voxbone provides iNum numbers for free to carriers and service providers,” Ullens said. As the number wholesaler, Voxbone will receive calls to these numbers and deliver them to the appropriate service provider. In this way, it connects incoming calls from PSTN callers as well as calls between different VoIP islands. Some iNum participating carriers will resell iNum numbers to their customers so they can receive calls; other participants will merely route (terminate) calls to the new numbers. Most participating carriers will even deliver calls to iNum numbers free of charge to their users, effectively providing free connectivity between their network and remote networks.
“Customers and prospects who see an advertised iNum telephone number that costs little or nothing to dial will be just as inclined to call an international business as they would any business physically located nearby or in-country,” said Ullens. “We see iNum encouraging more people to call globally, enabling business subscribers to have wider interactions with callers from new markets,” he added. “For carriers, iNum will increase call minutes and generate additional revenue through innovative global services.”
This is an interesting developement in the IP telephony market and could mean users selecting a call to particular numbers as this could be a free or low cost call – we will watch this one with interest
For more information see iNum or for the press relaease go to Voxbone.
We see that British Telecom has released one of it’s regular VoIP surveys, which they say showed increased adoption rates and planned VoIP expenditures over the next two years. Half of the respondents to the survey planned to increase VoIP expenditures during next year.
Demonstrating the Return on Investment of moving from a PSTN system to VoIP services was listed by the highest percentage (27%) of respondents as the main hurdle for a move to VoIP. Network reliability, voice quality and security were the three most important considerations for managers considering the migration to VoIP products; these three concerns were also the top concerns for the BT surveys conducted in 2005 and 2007. Around 25% of respondents stated that they were planning on switching to an IP-based network in the next year.
Read the survey in full here