Oxford University adopts SIP trunking for improved IP telephony services

The University of Oxford has invested in a major implementation of session initiation protocol (SIP) trunking equipment along its research and education data and voice telephony network.

SIP trunking provides a cost-effective way of enabling existing business phone systems to send and receive signals via internet protocol (IP) telephony.

The university’s IT department, the Oxford University Computing Service (OUCS), originally decided to implement the SIP trunking system because it was mainly concerned with the long-term reliability of its existing ISDN30 circuit fibres, and lack of system back-up in the event of failure.

It was also vital as part of the modernisation process for the university’s voice and data services to remain connected via the national universities telephony network, JANET.

Since having carried out the systems overhaul however, as well as having peace of mind over the robustness of its voice and data telephony capabilities, the university says it has also noticed a general improvement in voice service levels.

OUCS’s head of telecoms, Alan Hillyer, described the quality of the network’s voice calls as ‘fantastic’; adding that the service level was ‘stable’ and ‘probably better than standard ISDN30 quality’.

In addition, the university is understood to have acknowledged a benefit from IP telephony which has been praised by many other IP telephony system converts: improvements in scalability – in other words, the ability to add additional extensions and lines as and when operational needs require.

A further benefit said to have been obtained through the university’s adoption of IP telephony – and one which can often be overlooked in accounts of IP telephony success stories – is a reduction in the cost of voice calls.

The university is also in the advantageous position of being able to consider whether to hand over the management of its IP telephony services to that of a remote host voice over internet protocol (VoIP) provider.