University buys Alcatel-Lucent converged network


University buys Alcatel-Lucent converged network

Antony Savvas

The University of the West of England (UWE) is using the newly merged Alcatel-Lucent telecoms combo to install a converged communications network for staff and students that will cut costs.

The project, led by Alcatel-Lucent business partner South West Communications Group, involves migrating UWE to a dual IP/TDM network environment and connecting seven different campuses with IP-based voice and data collaboration.

The university also plans to install several departmental contact centres, and to extend the Alcatel-Lucent solution to all 4,000 UWE users over the next few years.

To reduce the cost of circuit rentals, Bristol-based UWE has already deployed a VoIP solution with the Alcatel-Lucent OmniPCX Enterprise IP-PBX phone system, supported by Alcatel-Lucent's OmniVista network management platform. 

Users have been equipped with Alcatel-Lucent IP Touch 4018 and 4028 handsets to enable IP call features, while the system supports a number of DECT wireless handset users on a single site.

The key driver of the project was a new UWE student village and sports centre, both of which required communications links with other sites and campuses. 

As it examined ways to reduce the cost of campus-wide communications, the university proposed a converged voice and data network migration that would not only cut costs, but also have the potential to improve internal processes throughout the entire organisation.

"The introduction of the new facilities marked the perfect opportunity for us to conduct an overhaul of our existing communications infrastructure," said Jonathan Barstow, UWE telecoms team leader.

Barstow added, "Linking our new buildings using IP telephony has not only reduced call costs and management overheads, it has also improved our communications. The next stage is for us to roll out these benefits across the university's seven campuses and introduce unified communications solutions that will further enhance staff and student collaboration."

The value of the contract has not been announced.

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