Is the fax dead?

When popularized 40 years ago, faxes were well adapted to analog networks. At that time, this was the easiest -and safest- way to pass a document to a remote location quickly. But telephony is changing, and both PSTN and ISDN technologies (classic telephony) are phasing out: Between 2018 and 2025, the all-IP migration will be completed in most European countries.

But facsimile transmissions have not been designed for IP networks. Fax uses the analog signal differently from voice, and VoIP is optimized for voice and not for fax signaling, thus unreliable; it will not get any better. Today the use of a fax machine in a VoIP environment remains possible, but according to Règlement ILR dated 9th of August 2017, ‘‘there is no guarantee of end-to-end interoperability’’. Telecom Providers cannot control from one end to the other if the facsimile is complete, regardless of distance or time.

  • Some documents can be incomplete, or the communication can be cut.
  • A short fax with 5 pages has more chance of completion than a large 10-page one.
  • A daily fax to one specific number can work one day and won’t work the next day due to unexpected problems.
  • Fax machines on modern networks cannot be successfully supported anymore.
  • Telecom Providers do not have any legal duty in this matter.
  • Assistance between Telecom Providers to make fax work is no longer available.

Today major players in Luxembourg do not guarantee fax transmissions in SIP/VoIP. This is specifically indicated in their Terms & Conditions or their quotes. But there is a solution: the best way to send a document is a PDF attached to an email. It’s simpler, easier, quicker, and even safer. So, is fax dead yet? Well, not totally, but the end is near. If you want to know more, do not hesitate to contact us.

To read the full law, click here

Photo © ChtiTux

Don’t miss any more news or articles!