On Monday, NEC communicated with its customers and partners that it intends to exit the premises-based private branch exchange (PBX) business in all markets outside of Japan. This is a striking announcement, as it wasn’t that long ago that NEC was generally considered the world’s largest provider of PBX and key systems.

NEC is a remarkably diversified technology company. There’s nothing quite like it in the US, it overlaps with IBM, Boeing, Honeywell, GE, and more. It serves many sectors, including aerospace, agriculture, finance, retail, and of course, telecom. NEC was established in 1899 with some funding from Bell’s Western Electric. It was the first Japanese joint venture with a foreign company.

In a letter sent to all dealer partners of NEC, announcing their exit from the on-premises phone system equipment manufacturing marketplace:


Dear Valued Professional,

I am writing to you with an important update concerning NEC’s Unified Communications business. Today we are announcing that we have formally made the decision to exit our on-premise UC business outside of Japan over the next few years.

This change applies to all of our on-premise UC products.  Subject to the above, please note that from today’s announcement:

– We will not accept any new Purchase Orders received after Dec. 31, 2024, nor will we enter into any new commitments/renewals/extensions after that date;

– We will not accept any new Purchase Orders with a scheduled or expected delivery date after March 31, 2025; and

– We will also not provide any hardware and/or software support services beyond March 31, 2026, except for any existing contractual obligations.

We further note that March 31, 2025, is the date we are targeting for completing the last shipment of products relating to any accepted Purchase Orders received and/or any new commitments/renewals/extensions agreed between April 15, 2024, and Dec. 31, 2024.

We thank you in advance for your understanding. Our teams will communicate with you as this process develops.

NEC Corporation of America


If you purchased or plan to purchase an NEC SL-1100, SL-2100, Univerge, or any of the other NEC systems from over 35 years, now might be a time to call us and make a plan to transition before you get stuck in a bad situation with no available parts and no available troubleshooting technicians.

When a company that’s over 100 years old makes this kind of decision, it’s not to be taken lightly.  When you consider other manufacturers like Toshiba and Panasonic exited years ago, this is probably the final nail in the coffin for old landline phone systems and phone sets.  The old digital PBX technology has moved on to better capabilities and compatibilities.

We’ve helped clients move from Toshiba and Panasonic when they made a similar announcement.  We’re the experts with IP technologies that will allow you to re-use that old telephone wiring and possibly avoid new cabling costs.  Call us now at 1 (800) 857-1517 today.