Faxpro module


Today in our company we have 5 fax DIDs on our PRI, I would like to know if faxpro can manage this or please point me to how I can go about implementing this in FreePBX distro if possible.

Our SIP provider says they do not support T38 codec but they offer faxToEmail or through an ATA services.

Doesn’t fax to email use T38 codec? And would it be better to use DHADI card instead of the ATA?

Thanks in advance

AFAIK Yes, FreePBX FAX Pro module can.

You’ll be able to set up (virtual) FAX Extensions (one or more, depending on you requirements), create (one or more) Incoming Route to route any incoming call (FAXes) to those specific DID numbers to (virtual) FAX Extensions and - if you want - let FreePBX to send received FAXes as PDF or TIFF to each virtual FAX Extensions’ pre-defined e-Mail account.

Concurrency of incoming calls is a matter of your ISDN PRI Line.

The T.38 plays a role when you want to implement FAX over IP (FoIP), but, from what you wrote, your scenario - valid for Voice calls and FAX calls - is implemented around ISDN Line (correct me if I misunderstood):

ISDN PRI Line (with “n” active bi-directional digital channels) -> external ISDN PRI/SIP Media Converter (or internal ISDN PRI PCI Card) -> FreePBX Distro (through DAHDI) system.

In the scenario above you don’t need any ATA to G.3 FAX until you need to have one or more G.3 FAX machine to send FAXes from (you can ask users to use the actual ARI User Panel to send them “digitally”, no paper waste involved) or to receive forwarded FAXes yet received by the FreePBX Distro system.

No T.38 is needed until you want to switch to use SIP Trunking to your SIP Provider (mandatory requirement: it should support T.38).

If you have dedicated DIDs to use for receiving FAXes you can avoid to use DAHDI’s FAX recognition tone (incoming call from one of that DID number will always be considered and managed as an incoming FAX call), which improve incoming FAX management (the system shouldn’t recognize anything).

Virtual FAX Extensions could then manage FAXes (received and to send them, when required) through User Portal.

I’ll wait and test FreePBX Distro 6.12.65 to see how new UCP is. FreePBX FAX Pro module is (and will be) agnostic and so it will work on actual FreePBX Distro 5.211.65 (with ARI User Portal) or the new FreePBX Distro 6.12.65 (with UCP User Portal) even if, once coped with this latter one, you could expect development and new features being introduced (new features are frozen in FreePBX Distro 5.211.65) as requested/needed.

Thank you parnassus for your response.

After looking into all possible scenarios, I will go ahead and subscribe to my ISDN’s “fax to mail” service and manage fax DID’s using faxpro.

Kind regards

It should work even if I really don’t know what is an “ISDN FAX to Mail service”: incoming FAX calls on your PRI B Channels are like incoming voice calls but if you decide that some DID (one or more) are dedicated to receive FAXes then you would reasonably expect that callers will use those DID numbers to send you FAXes (if you inform them to do so), if so then your FreePBX Distro system will only have to manage those incoming calls with proper Incoming Rules to let the FAX Pro module to step in. AFAIK no “external” FAX to Mail is needed (from the provider perspective I mean).

The “fax to mail” service simply converts the fax from analog to digital. I would go ahead with a DHADI card and analog line, but the monthly fees are greater then the “fax to mail” service.

Sorry, maybe I totally misunderstood your very first sentence on your first post: “Today in our company we have 5 fax DIDs on our PRI”.

If you write so we (or, at least, I) understand that your main PSTN line is a PRI Line (a PRI Line is digital, with a maximum of 30 - in case of E1 PRI Line - or 23 - in case of T1 PRI Line - B Channels used for Voice communications, and FAX communications are a quite normal subset of those ones) and, over that PRI Line, your company has a DIDs numbering (could be few PSTN numbers or more) of which only few are currently specifically used to receive incoming FAXes.

Is that right?

If the scenario is right then why you say “I would go ahead with a DHADI card and analog line” if there isn’t an analog line in the picture? Ideally if you have a PRI Line there isn’t any conversion process/service to pay (fees) because actually is your PBX that receives PRI (digital) and converts into analog G.3 for you FAX Machines.

Maybe are you considering to move out FAX DIDs from PRI Line and manage incoming FAXes on a (new) Analog PSTN Lines that will have those DIDs?

Or, a scenario I didn’t considered, are you planning to move out only FAX DIDs PSTN Numbers to (new) Analog PSTN Lines (FAX dedicated) to separate your actual PRI+Legacy PBX from (new) Analog PSTN Lines and step in with a (new) FreePBX Distro system only to manage incoming FAXes (so using the FreePBX Distro as a FAX Server mainly)?

If your PSTN Provider could do so (move some DID Numbers from Digital PSTN PRI Line to Analog PSTN Lines) maybe is the fee you stated applied for this “conversion”/“migration”?

Sorry to point that out but it’s important for me in order to understand if I gave you a (first) correct answer.

yes indeed

Along with our T1 PRI, we also have an existing analog fax line that’s why I mentionned DHADI with ananlog line as a possible scenario.

Long story short, we currently have two systems running in parallel, our old T1 PRI with 5 fax DIDS, plus an analog line for fax & our new FreePBX server with SIP Trunk which we will migrate to once our PRI contract ends next year.

I am basically setting up the FreePBX with the same enviroment as our actual PRI setup and at the same time am trying to optimize and cut spending where I can, that’s why I mentionned “I would go ahead with a DHADI card and analog line, but the monthly fees are greater then the “fax to mail” service”.

Sorry for the confusion, hope this clears things up a little.

And again, thank you for your help, I greatly appreciate!

Oh, that’s OK and sounds better.

So basically you’re migrating from your actual PRI setup to a SIP Trunking setup trying to keep the FAX part out of the SIP Trunk (due to T.38 limitations of your Service Provider) so you can manage it through a dedicated PSTN Analog line; both connectivity’s type to the same FreePBX Distro system, should work fine.

Due to no t.38 support, I can’t use FoIP from my understanding so the next best thing is to either use a DHADI card with an anlaog fax line or the “fax to mail” service which in the end is a few dollars cheaper per month, not to mention no more need to maintain the fax equipment, ink, papper, etc.

I’m assuming this setup can be managed through FreePBX as the “fax to mail” each have a DID and will most likely be able to manage them with faxpro, that was part of my initial question…

Yes, definitely.

The point, from the point of view of concurrent incoming FAX calls, in migrating from a PRI Line to Analog Line is that calls concurrency will not be the same: it will be limited by the fact that 1 Analog Line = 1 Call (Voice/FAX) while 1 PRI Line = up to 23 Calls (Voice/FAX).

So if now your system manages 5 DIDs for 5 separate G.3 FAX machines (FAX machines that are internal extensions of your legacy PBX) AND you want the exact same number of concurrent FAX calls THEN you will need 5 Analog Lines which, in the end, may cost you monthly more (or less, I don’t know…it depends) than the “FAX to E-Mail” service provided/offered you by your Telephony Service Provider.

From the FreePBX Distro system standpoint all depends on how many FXO channels the PSTN Card has (or how many FXO Cards your system will have): the system itself has actually no limit (OK, there are limits…due to system Hardware performance in terms of transconding, etc.) about how many incoming FAX Calls (and so the FreePBX FAX Pro module) it is able to process.

Leaving out the SIP Trunking, if the system will be equipped with a 4 Ports FXO Card it will be able to process up to 4 (concurrent) Calls at the same time.