Vendor Network Architectures�Part XIX: NEC Unified Solutions
NEC's UNIVERGE product line serves a spectrum of customers from Fortune 1000 enterprises to SMBs and branch offices.
NEC Unified Solutions, Inc., headquartered in Irving, Texas, is a subsidiary of the NEC Corporation, one of Japans largest networking and electronics firms, with over 146,000 employees worldwide and annual net sales of approximately $47 Billion.
NEC has an interesting history, dating back to their founding in 1899, when the Nippon Electric Company, Ltd., was established as a joint venture with the Western Electric Company (the equipment manufacturing arm of the then-Bell System). The production, sales, and maintenance of telephones and switching systems began shortly thereafter. The company ventured into the radio communications business in the early 1920s, with NEC importing Western Electric Company broadcasting equipment that help put Radio Tokyo on the air in 1925. Further research into long distance telephone, image, and microwave communication continued into the early 1940s. Electronics and computer development was undertaken during the early 1950s, with the first fully transistorized, NEC-developed computer demonstrated at a Paris exposition in 1959. NEC branched out into the worldwide communication markets in the 1960s, developing satellite communications systems for television broadcasting and submarine cable systems for placement under the Pacific Ocean.
NEC America, Inc. opened a plant in Dallas, Texas in 1978, and began manufacturing Private Automatic Branch Exchange (PABX) and key telephone systems. NECs NEAX61 digital switching system was delivered the following year. In 1984, NEC Information Systems, Inc. started manufacturing computers and related products in the United States, making NEC a player in both the communications and computing technologies. Further research and development efforts produced products in Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) and high speed switching systems, microelectronics, and cellular telephone technologies.
NEC Unified Solutions serves the Fortune 1000, and provides a comprehensive portfolio of communications and computing solutions, including Internet Protocol (IP), wireless and broadband networks, video communications, carrier services, contact center applications, network security, monitoring and management, plus implementation services.
The NEC architecture for VoIP is called UNIVERGE, which combines products, applications and services to support next generation networks. UNIVERGE is based upon an open, standards-based IP architecture with an objective of interoperability with broadband media and IT systems, and providing seamless connectivity for multi-network environments, including the NEC NEAX systems. The UNIVERGE family encompasses a number of products, including:
- UNIVERGE NEAX 2400 IPX: is an upgrade to the NEAX 2400 PABX system that was first introduced in the late 1980s, that allows existing customers to enhance their earlier systems for IP functionality. The system has the capability to operate in two different modes: IP enabled and TDM switched, or IP based and IP switched. TDM switching enables the use of existing NEAX end stations, while IP switching allows other devices, such as IP telephones, media gateways, media converters, and other IP-based systems to be incorporated into the network. The NEAX 2400 IPX provides over 780 service features, and can support a large range of end user requirements, from 384 to over 24,576 ports.
- UNIVERGE SV7000 Multiple Purpose System (MPS): which is targeted at the small/medium business segment that needs a communication solution for 50-500 IP clients. The SV7000 is based upon a model called peer-to-peer switching, which means that end stations on a call are connected directly with each other through the IP network, without traversing a switch, as would be the case in traditional telephone systems. The system provides over 700 service features, and can serve from 50-16,000 ports.
- UNIVERGE NEAX 2000 Internet Protocol Server (IPS): provides both key system and PBX features, and is positioned for small to medium businesses, hotels and enterprise networking environments. It provides TDM switching, but supports IP-based end stations.
- UNIVERGE NEAX IPS-DMR: is a branch office system that is compatible with the NEAX 2000 IPS, and which supports up to 128 peer-to-peer IP stations and 40 TDM ports. The remote system provides PBX feature transparency to the remote system and stations, and also uses the same line and trunk cards as the larger system for more consistent hardware inventories.
Further details on the NEC architecture and products can be found at www.necunifiedsolutions.com. Our next tutorial will continue our examination of vendors architectures.
Copyright Acknowledgement: © 2006 DigiNet ® Corporation, All Rights Reserved
Mark A. Miller, P.E. is President of DigiNet ® Corporation, a Denver-based consulting engineering firm. He is the author of many books on networking technologies, including Voice over IP Technologies, and Internet Technologies Handbook, both published by John Wiley & Sons.