VoIP, Linux, and Wi-Fi are all strong, emerging technologies in Japan, the trio of which are now being combined in an offering by Tokyo-based Turbolinux Inc.
Turbolinux has launched a Linux-based VoIP solution set that includes an IP PBX and an IP Communication ContactCenter as well as a VoIP starter kit bundle targeted at SMBs in Japan.
The LUTi IP PBX is a SIP-based VoIP system that Turblolinux claims is fully compatible with Japan's leading telecom vendor NTT Docomo's FOMA/wireless LAN. FOMA, which is an acryonym for Freedom of Mobile Multimedia Access, is NTT DoCoMo's brand name for W-CDMA-based 3G services.
The LUTi IP ContactCenter is billed by Turbolinux as an all-in-one contact center solution complete with interactive voice response (IVR), customer relationship management (CRM), and automatic call distribution (ACD) features, and includes a softphone solution.
The IP PBX Starter Kit now offered by Turbolinux is intended to provide an integrated mobile centrex environment. According to Turbolinux the kit comprises all necessary hardware, software, and support. It includes a combination of a VoIP gateway, Wireless LAN access point and a FOMA/wireless LAN dual-mode cell phone.
VoIP in Japan is a big business, and one that Turbolinux is hoping to capitalize on. "There is a big demand," Turbolinux spokesperson Linda Arai told EnterpiseVoIPplanet.com. "In Japan, most of the solutions of PBX/IP phone systems are based on Windows."
The Turbolinux solution is obviously not based on Windows but rather Turbolinux's own Linux operating system. Turbolinux has not based its IP PBX on the open source Asterisk project but rather on closed-source software provided by a Japanese local vendor, JLINK Inc.
"As an OS vendor, we are capable to tune the OS and giving higher performance of the solution," Arai explained. "Most importantly the solution offers low initial cost when compared with currently available PBX systems as well as lower management and call costs."
Michael Arden an analyst at ABI Research told EnterpriseVoIPplanet that as a general rule, there is a lot of interest in converging features and applications between landline service, mobile service, e-mail, video conferencing, and organizational functions on the PC. "Basing a product on Linux will help to create a standard that can enable easier convergence among these various functions," Arden said. "We have increasingly heard about vendors that are adding Linux capabilities to products for this very purpose."