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April 25, 2013

Commetrex and Copia Announces Support for RFC 6913 to Enable International FoIP Calls

By Jayashree Adkoli, TMCnet Contributor

Commetrex (News - Alert) and Copia Announces Support for RFC 6913 to Enable International FoIP Calls

Commetrex, a provider of fax technologies, recently announced support for the fax media-feature tag (News - Alert) specified in RFC 6913. The recent SIP Forum recommendations to RFC 6913 were accepted by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) in March. Carriers can now leverage the 'SIP.fax' media-feature tag to “proactively route Fax over Internet Protocol (FoIP) calls over qualified routes.”   

As a provider of fax technologies, Commetrex has developed an advanced-architecture, all-software telephony platform called BladeWare, which supports FoIP with SIP signaling. Now the company plans to add support for the fax media-feature tag specified in RFC 6913 to its BladeWare fax platform as well, in order to support intelligent International FoIP routing in SIP networks.

For the last three years, international carriers of the i3 Forum and the SIP Forum (News - Alert) FoIP Task Group have been cooperating to remedy the poor success rate of International FoIP calls. Fax calls are currently handled similar to voice calls at initiation. As a result, fax calls are sometimes routed to SIP user agents that are not fax capable.

During testing, they found that systemic problems could be solved by making small but significant changes to how FoIP calls are routed by the carriers. So, the SIP Forum recommended a change to industry standards, resulting in RFC 6913, and the i3 Forum is publishing a best-practices document.

Cliff Schornak, CTO, Commetrex, said in a statement, "Less-than-optimum routing of FoIP calls by carriers is the primary reason for poor FoIP success rates in international FoIP calls, and it's not because they don't want to, it's because the SIP standards didn't support it prior to RFC 6913."

"That's where RFC 6913 comes in," added Mike Coffee, Commetrix CEO. "There are 16 media-feature tags defined in RFC 3840 that may be put in SIP headers to aid in routing decisions, but not a single one specified that an originating SIP UAC was a fax in order to allow the carrier to select that fax-friendly route. But that's a thing of the past if we can get the industry to support this initiative. We are excited about these developments and pleased to support them in our products."

The SIP.fax media-feature tag, in conjunction with new additional caller preferences, will allow carriers to proactively route FoIP calls over qualified routes. RFC 6913 is now a proposed standard by the SIP Forum.

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