Because so many variables are involved in Internet fax, many businesses will wind up with multiple fax service suppliers, says Bob Musgrove, VP-marketing for Concord Technologies, a Seattle-based fax service vendor. That is, not all fax service suppliers offer all fax services, and not all services deliver to all places.
So pricing for these services can get complex, Mr. Musgrove says. While some suppliers offer free services, other suppliers charge for all. In addition to volume discounts and surcharges for international faxes, prices can differ based on the type of software used. Concord, for example, charges differently for users of Symantec's WinFax program than for users of Optus' FacSys server, which supports encryption.
This variety will in time create a good market, Mr. Davidson says, even for the free services. If just 10% of today's 500 million e-mail boxes add fax services, and just 10% of those users pay for their boxes, "you're talking about 5 million paid users, and at $100 a year, it's a $500 million industry."
Yet the fax delivery business is already profitable, he says.
"Companies like NetMoves are doing $20 million in outbound," Mr. Davidson says, and growing fast by offering values that make sense in the Web economy.