The down side to NEC phone systems

Some of the older members of staff here at Astro (Myself included) have had more experience with NEC over the years than any other brand of phone system or PBX. We lost interest in the NEC systems after they ingeniously decided to change the entire programming structure of the IPK series with the release of the IPK2 and Topaz systems.

NEC systems are notoriously difficult to program compared to other brands – they always have been but they had a loyal following of technicians who knew the product very well and could program them using the familiar keystrokes on the handset. 

Obviously from time to time a manufacturer needs to make major changes to the design of a product, usually with improved functionality & efficiency being the purpose and hopefully offering a better user experience.  Unfortunately in the case of NEC phone systems, the purpose of the change appears to be strictly about cost. 

The firmware on the IPK system has been purchased from a larger unnamed pbx manufacturer and crammed in to the unwilling NEC KSU.  Rather than designing their own platform, they have bought old discarded firmware from a pbx that is over 10 years old and reused it to cut down on cost and add some make shift VOIP ability.

Fair enough you say so NEC are moving their products in to the lower end of the price spectrum. Well actually, they are not… NEC systems are also notoriously expensive!

I am sorry NEC but I was once one of your loyal fans and I would have loved nothing more than to start my own NEC PABX dealership. Now even if you offered it to me I would say ‘thanks but no thanks’.


Inferior KSU firmware

Outdated programming software and tools

Changing all the sockets pin outs to suit different models of handsets