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Fax connection with VoIP: How to make it right

Our customers are affected to a varying extent by the deactivation of ISDN, depending on whether their existing telephone system is only running on ISDN or whether the new IP standard (VoIP) is already supported. When migrating from ISDN to VoIP or cloud-based telephony, the question arises sooner or later: What do I do with my analog fax machine and how can I best integrate it into my new VoIP telephony?

Within the scope of our VoIP consulting, three scenarios occur particularly frequently:

Analog fax to IP telephone system

The customer already uses an IP-capable telephone system at their site, to which they have connected their analog fax machine. They can continue to use this telephone system without any problems, as it is already IP-capable. All they need to replace their ISDN connection is a SIP trunk, i.e. an IP-based telephone system connection (e.g. SIP Business). There‚Äôs no change in their fax machine: They connect their fax machine to their IP telephone system and can continue to use it as usual.

Analog fax to cloud telephone system

The customer switches from an ISDN telephone system to a cloud telephone system, but does not want to do without their analog fax machine. After successfully migrating from ISDN to the cloud telephone system, the following must be observed: In order to continue to use their fax machine, need an ATA ( analog telephone adapter) that connects the fax machine to the cloud telephone system.With this option, they can also use fax-to-mail and receive incoming fax messages conveniently sent by e-mail. Outgoing fax messages are sent as before via the fax machine.

Fax solution for cloud phone system

The customer switches to a cloud telephone system, but also has a fax solution at their site that they want to continue using. There are two different cases:

  1. If this fax solution is already IP-enabled, nothing will change for them when they switch to cloud-based telephony. They can connect their IP-enabled fax solution directly to the cloud telephone system and use the usual functionality.
  2. If their fax solution is analog, they need an ATA (Analog Telephone Adapter) to connect the fax solution to the cloud telephone system. With the ATA, they can also use the complete range of functions of the fax solution.

Conclusion: What should you pay particular attention to?

If you want to use an analog fax machine even after switching to VoIP, you need an ATA.

It is particularly important that all the components you use (ATA, SIP trunk and cloud PBX) support the T. 38 protocol. T. 38 is a protocol that allows fax messages to be sent over data networks. T. 38 is used to convert fax signal tones because fax data cannot be sent over data networks in the same way as voice signals.

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