The University of Cambridge has signed a multi-million pound contract with Cisco and BT to deliver approximately 20,000 IP telephony handsets to the university over the next 18 months, replacing the existing system.
The university's investment will enable students to communicate through the deployment of a converged voice, video and data network. Sharing information will improve the quality of education and research, with students and academics using instant messaging, voice e-mails and streaming video to share ideas in real-time.
The IP migration project will be undertaken by PTS Consulting and will meet the communications requirements of 17,000 users spread over 200 institutions. It is believed to be one of the largest deployments of its kind in the education sector.
Ian Lewis, director of the University Computing Service at Cambridge, said, "As one of the world's leading universities, Cambridge is keen to attract and retain the very best students and researchers. Part of that involves providing thoroughly modern facilities that reflect our forward-looking relationship with technology."