University of Cambridge claims largest IP telephony system

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University of Cambridge claims largest IP telephony system

Score one for Cisco. They now claim that the University of Cambridge has become one of the largest if not the largest IP telephony system in the education sector. Cisco and BT announced the deployment in a multi-million pound deal which will see BT, Cisco, and the University’s IT Consultancy partner, PTS Consulting, deliver approximately 20,000 IP telephony handsets to the University over the next 18 months.

"The University’s investment will modernise the student experience, enabling students to collaborate in new and more innovative ways through the deployment of a converged voice, video and data network. Sharing information more easily will improve the quality of education and research, with students and academics using instant messaging, voice emails, streaming video and much more to share ideas in real time, from anywhere in the world."

20,000 handsets is nothing to sneeze at and it's something that I'm waiting to hear comparable news from the Asterisk camp. I've heard rumors about a large Asterisk deployment at a Fortune 500 company, and was even told my a news source they'd give me the scoop on it, but i haven't heard anything. Could Asterisk solutions be relegated to the SMB market and not the large enterprise? Nah. I think a Fortune 500 company is in the works or has deployed already, but we just haven't heard about it.

I wonder if this University of Cambridge deployment will be 100% Cisco phones or if they will have some non-Cisco phones, now that Cisco Call Manager supports SIP as well as their proprietary Skinny protocol. In 2006, I broke the news that Cisco was adding SIP support to their phones and would enable 3rd party phones to work. I find that most big institutions such as the government, military, and universities tend to overpay for things, so my guess is that they went with 100% Cisco phones. I'm sure the 20,000 Cisco phones were highly discounted though. I just hope University of Cambridge is aware they can purchase additional VoIP phones that are non-Cisco. Considering University of Cambridge is one of the world's most prestigious universities, I'm sure they're aware.

I sure hope they have QoS (such as TOS bit-setting) running on their network considering universities are notorious for hogging bandwidth with P2P apps like Bittorrent. Check out the full article.

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