Japanese electronics giants Hitachi and NEC said they plan to spend a combined 6 billion yen (approx. U.S. $55 million) to replace their existing phone systems with less expensive Internet-based voice systems.
Hitachi plans to set up 30,000 Internet Protocol (IP) telephones by March 2007, reducing its annual 16 billion yen phone costs by more than 10 percent, its spokesman said. The company eventually plans to expand the use of such phones to its group companies, installing 70,000 additional phones. Its total investment is expected to be about 4 billion yen ($37 million), he said.
NEC plans to invest about 2 billion yen and install about 30,000 Internet phones by September 2005, a company spokeswoman said.
The business daily Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported that NEC expects to cut its annual phone costs by nearly 20 percent from its current 7 billion yen. The NEC spokeswoman declined to comment on the company's costs or expected savings. (CBS MarketWatch.com)
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