NeTrue Communications and SoftLinx have announced the release of systems designed to send fax messages over the Internet, creating an easier way to receive those messages using Web browsers and avoiding costly international telephony charges.
NeTrue has released the NeTrueLink 1.3 system, which provides a gateway to convert fax and voice mail messages into IP packets and transmits them over the Internet to a destination gateway that can then be delivered to an end-customer.
SoftLinx has also announced its Replix Internet Messaging System, Version 4 (Replix V4), which enables users to send real-time fax messages over the Internet.
Both companies see their products as creating an easier way to receive fax messages without a fax machine.
They also believe their products can drastically reduce the costs of sending messages internationally. Sending a fax over the Internet entails only the cost of calling a local Internet service provider node with the message, as opposed to the cost of dealing with telephony carriers overseas.
"It costs a ton to fax things from some of these countries, but to use the Internet to do it reduces your cost," said Larry Deckerhoff, an analyst and director of relationship marketing for the Internet at Compaq.
Internet faxing, like Internet telephony, is a political issue for telephone carriers. The company believes carriers will adopt the technology rather than fight it for the short term.
"What telephony carriers are really doing is looking at this infrastructure and making sure they can make money off of it as well," said Mark Bannon, vice-president of sales and marketing at SoftLinx. "They're going to want to be competitive there."
The NeTrueLink 1.3 Base Unit, with four channels, costs $US8200 for one licence, with a four-port voice/ fax processing card listed at $2900.
The Replix V4, available now and is priced at $4950 per server, plus a per-port charge starting at a price of $1500.