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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

News from NET and COM '99

  • Iwasaki, Lucent Exhibit Web-Enabled Call Center Systems
  • February 11, 1999 (TOKYO) — Iwasaki Electric Co., Ltd. and Lucent Technologies Japan Ltd. exhibited call center systems equipped with voice-over-IP (VoIP) functions at NET & COM’99, which was held at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba prefecture.
    The products from both companies allow customers to phone a call center operator, using Internet telephony, while viewing a Web site.

    The advantage of such systems is that dial-up customers can use data and voice communication at the same time on a single line.

    Also, the corporate provider of the service benefits from the lower communications costs than if customer phone calls are carried through a public switched telephone network. Using the new products, information indicating which Web page a customer is viewing can be sent to the operator’s PC, and the operator can display any selected page on the customer’s PC.

    Iwasaki Electric’s prototype is called the Web Telephony System. It consists of a VoIP gateway board, a private branch exchange (PBX) and a computer telephony adapter.

    An environment for Internet telephony is provided by plug-in software. The VoIP gateway complies with the H.323 standard protocol defined by the Telecommunication Standardization Sector of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU-T). Iwasaki Electric plans to commercialize the product around this summer.

    Lucent’s system is called the CenterVu Internet Call Center, and is due to be shipped in March. It comprises a PBX, an Internet Telephony Gateway (ITG) for VoIP and a controller, according to Lucent.

    The ITG converts the data contained in a customer’s Internet phone call into sound for transmission over the PBX. To make a call, a customer needs H.323-compliant software installed on their personal computer. If the VoIP voice quality is poor because of congestion on the Internet, the call center operator can phone the customer back via the public switched network.

    Related story: Telephones with VoIP Features Showcased at Expo

    (Nikkei Communications)

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