Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company, headquartered in Secaucus, New Jersey, is a division of the multinational Matsushita Electric Industrial Company, Ltd., one of the largest electronics manufacturers in the world. Matsushita is comprised of over 600 companies, and markets over 15,000 products, under brand names that include Panasonic, National, Techniques, and Quasar.
The Panasonic brand name is associated with a number of consumer electronics innovations, from a company that operates in a number of business segments. These include:
- AVC Networks, which markets audio and video products—including home theater systems and plasma televisions
- Panasonic Communications, which develops business facsimile and copier products
- Panasonic Mobile Communications, the company’s cellular division
- Panasonic Automotive Systems, which includes car audio and navigation systems
- Panasonic Systems Solutions, with security systems and stadium-size audio/video systems—
plus many other divisions which include healthcare, semiconductors, display devices, batteries, electric motors, lighting, and environmental systems. In short, if you using anything that requires electricity, it is fairly likely that this company, which was founded in 1918, and presently claims over 334,000 employees and over $76 Billion in annual sales, has supplied some of your electronic tools and toys.
With such a broad constellation of product groups, it should come as no surprise that Panasonic has also developed a line of hybrid IP-PBX systems to address the requirements of business telecommunications. These systems are sold, installed, and serviced by a network of local Panasonic-certified dealers.
Panasonic has built a number of innovative features into these systems that reflect the Company’s deep experience with consumer and industrial electronics.
As one unique example, optional door intercoms and electrical contacts can be added to the IP-PBX system, allowing electronic door locks to be opened via telephone connection and the door intercom to be announced with a distinctive ring and alert on the telephone’s LCD display.
IP-compatible security cameras, also developed by Panasonic, can be integrated with the system, allowing users to monitor key locations, such as outside driveways and reception areas, and check those images on a PC, or compatible cell phone or PDA, using a built-in web page.
Still another feature allows 2.4 GHz multi-cell wireless telephones to be integrated with the IP-PBX. This allows wireless telephones to be registered with the PBX, so that communications functions can follow the users whenever they are in range of the cell base stations.
All of the systems can accept an optional KX-TVA voice processing system, which allows calls to be managed by an automated attendant service, enables voicemail with e-mail integration, and provides synergies between PBX and voice processing systems that allow access and management of the voice mailbox using the LCD display on the telephone. Features of the voice processing system include Caller ID routing, screening and name announcement, personal greetings for Caller ID, intercom paging, live call screening, and two-way recording.
An optional internal IP Gateway Card for VoIP communications allows connections to either a Local Area Network (LAN) or Wide Area Network (WAN), so that multiple locations can communicate using the existing network infrastructure instead of the telephone network.
Also common to all of the systems is their compatibility with Panasonic’s proprietary line of telephones. One interesting feature of some of those telephones is called the Digital Extra Device Port, or DXDP, which allows a second telephone, programmed with different numbers, to be connected to the first telephone without running a second telephone line.
The Panasonic line of hybrid IP-PBXs includes four different models:
- KX-TDA50: the smallest system, which is designed with a plug-in architecture that allows growth in both system capacity and number of stations as the needs of the business expand. The KX-TDA50 can support up to 8 central office lines, 24 wired extensions (48 with DXDP), and up to 28 wireless handsets. The physical design is very compact, about the size of a large telephone book, and weighs less than 8 pounds.
- KX-TDA100: supports up to 64 central office lines, 64 wired extensions (128 with DXDP) and up to 128 wireless extensions. In addition, up to two each of T1, PRI-ISDN and IP Gateway circuits can be added to the system.
- KX-TDA200: supports up to 128 central office lines, 128 wired extensions (256 with DXDP) and up to 128 wireless extensions. Four each of T1, PRI-ISDN and IP Gateway circuits can be added to the system. All the expansion cards designed for the KX-TDA-100 also work with the KX-TDA200, allowing for easier and more economical upgrades.
- KX-TDA600: the largest system, it supports up to 640 central office lines, 640 wired extensions (960 with DXDP) and up to 128 wireless extensions. This system can also accommodate an optional KX-NCV200 Automatic Call Director (ACD) report server, which provides call center functions, including monitoring and performance reports, call information history, and agent login.
The system software and other configuration details are stored on a secure digital (SD) card, making system backups easy and inexpensive. Further details on the Panasonic products and architectures can be found at www.panasonic.com. We will continue our examination of vendors’ architectures next week.
Copyright Acknowledgement: © 2007 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.