“I have an stand alone Fax machine that I use for out-going faxes. I would like to use my Cell as the phone line to hook up to this machine, thus being able to disconnect my home phone.”
Back when most cellular phone service providers still used older analog voice signals, transmitting a fax over cellular was an easier matter. Older analog cell phone service supported the transmission of the DTMF tones used by fax to transmit messages. Newer digital cellular service no longer supports passing data via the required DTMF tones making fax via a standard cell phone connection virtually impossible without a third party solution. There are a couple of ways you can get around the limitation of digital cellular service by using a combination of a fax service and some of the features built into many phones.
Email a Fax via Cell Phone
In order to send a fax using your cell phone your cell phone needs to have a camera and at least one of the following features:
Cell phone email support: If you can access your email account (not SMS service or MMS service) you can send a fax via your cell phone. In this scenario, you would need to create an account at an online fax service like MyFax or MetroFax. Once you have an account, sending a fax with your cell phone is a three step process:
1) Take a photo with an iPhone or Android phone. For documents with more than one page, take a series of photos of the document you wish to fax.
2) Add the photo or photos as an attachment to an email message.
3) Send the email to the fax service following the specific instructions for the service you subscribed to.
In this scenario, when the email arrives at the fax service, the fax service relays the email as a fax to your destination.
Upload a Fax via iPhone or Android Phone
Option two is possibly cheaper for sending a fax, but involves the same basic principle. You start by taking photos of your document. Once you have the photos, upload them to a fax service via the web browser on your smartphone. In this case, you can use something like FaxZero if you can covert your camera phone image to PDF or embed it in a .DOC file. Otherwise you are back to needing a service like MyFax or MetroFax (mentioned above). In this scenario the steps are:
1) Take a photo with your iPhone or Android device. If you have a multi-page document, take a series of photos of the document you wish to fax.
2) Upload photos to fax service.
3) Fill out fax destination details following instructions of the service you choose and send the document.
The catch to both methods is the cell phone camera. Camera phone images are notoriously bad. Because the text needs to be legible at the other end, you need to be sure you’ve got your camera held incredibly still.
Better Fax Alternative
If your ultimate goal is to get rid of your landline, a better alternative would be to spend a little money on a document scanner. You can find a new scanner on Amazon for under $60. In many cases, combination printer/scanner hardware is only slightly more. Using one of the same fax services mentioned above, you can then send a fax via your computer, which results in far superior image quality for the transmitted documents. At the cheap end of things, you’ll need to spend about $10/month on a fax service, which should create a net savings of about $15/month over the average price for phone services.