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The German Definitive Tele-Facsimile Test Standard (DTS)

With the advent of Internet Email communications, facsimile machines still play a dominant role in personal and business intercommunications. When Germany started importing facsimile machines in the 1970's, the Deutsche Bundespost (German PTT) created the Facsimile Test Standard FTZ 18TR53.


The German Facsimile Test Standard FTZ 18TR53 was a mandatory test for all Facsimile machines sold in Germany. With the advent of Telecommunications deregulation, the Regulatory Approval standards have been reduced to a Network Access only, and the Facsimile Test standard FTZ 18TR53 is no longer mandatory.

However since the T.30 protocol is implemented differently by each Facsimile manufacturer, many manufacturers were finding that their facsimile products did not interwork properly with other facsimile machines. Thus a single test suite, based on the original T.30 ITU Recommendation, was needed to serve as the Reference Standard. 


Approximately 18 manufacturers and distributors formed the Telefacsimile Work Group within the German Machinery and Plant Manufacturers Association (VDMA). The Telefacsimile Work Group members, as listed in Table 1, developed a T.30 Test Suite which was named "Definitive Tele-Facsimile Standard" (DTS). 

Alcatel SEL AG

Bosch Telecom GmbH

Canon Deutschland GmbH

DeTeWe-Deutsche Telephonwerke AG&Co

Deutsche Telekom AG

Hewlett-Packard GmbH, Böblingen

IBM Deutschland Information Systems GmbH

Infotec Communications GmbH

Lanier Deutschland GmbH

Minolta GmbH, Langenhagen

OKI Systems Deutschland GmbH

Panasonic Deutschland GmbH

SAGEM SA Deutschland

Sanyo Büro-Elektronic Europa-Vertrieb GmbH

Sharp Electronics (Europe) GmbH

TA Triumph-Adler Vertriebs GmbH

Toshiba Europa GmbH

Xerox GmbH

Table 1, Members of Telefacsimile Work Group

The technical requirements of the DTS Test Suite are an enhancement of the original German FTZ 18TR53 and ITU T.30 Standards. Therefore, if a manufacturer's product passes all 1339 test cases (with several test parameters derived from the DTS Test Suite), the manufacturer can be assured that his product will interoperate reliably with any facsimile machine in the world, if it has also been tested to the DTS Test Suite. In addition, the Manufacturer is permitted to apply the DTS Mark as proof that his product is fully compliant.

The DTS Test Suite verifies each and every process of the following operations:

  • Negotiation of resolution

  • Negotiation of paper size (metric or imperial)

  • Negotiation of coding method and line timing

  • ECM (Error Correction Mode)

  • Negotiation of transmission speed

  • Facsimile Data transmission & Reception

  • Handshake between the Receiving and Sending of data

  • Receive/Send report in journal


The list of Products which carry the DTS Mark has grown to 45 pages as of March 2002. The 45 page list of DTS Approved Facsimile Products can be downloaded at DTS Listed Facsimile Products

When purchasing a Facsimile Machine with the DTS Mark, the end user can be assured that the manufacturer has conducted facsimile protocol testing to the DTS Industry Standard, and that the product will inter-operate properly with other facsimile devices.

About the Authors:  
Dipl.-Ing. Frank Weisser. 


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Last updated: February 25, 2010
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