Networking consortium Internet2 has struck a deal with Aastra and Level 3 Communications to provide managed voice services to college campuses throughout the country.
College Station, Texas-based Texas A&M University and Tulane University of New Orleans are two of the first schools that will depend on the new services.
Internet2 says its "Voice in the Cloud" hosted VoIP PBX and SIP Trunking shared service eliminates the need for millions of dollars in capital expense to create a private communications network on an institution’s campus. By leveraging the infrastructure delivered by Internet2, together with Aastra and Level 3, member institutions can receive carrier-grade service at a very cost-effective price per line, the company said. Based on industry-standard SIP protocols, the solution is designed to provide control and flexibility over the administration of critical Unified Communications (UC) services like voice and video communication, and empower institutions to customize the solution to meet their unique campus needs.
Aastra’s Clearspan is a VoIP network platform providing unified communications for organizations requiring high-capacity, mission-critical performance. Clearspan, Aastra says, offers classic PBX-like services, but also a rich set of enhanced services including unified messaging, fixed-mobile convergence, interactive voice response, business conferencing and contact center applications. Clearspan allows employees to make and receive calls from any device, at any location, with only one phone number, one dial plan, one voice mailbox, and a unified set of features.
Level 3 Communications will provide SIP-based services such as long distance trunks, local trunks, conference bridges and other services. As a result, Internet2 will be able to offer the reliability that member institutions demand over a large scale, Level 3 said.
"This arrangement builds on a successful and long-standing relationship between Level 3 and Internet2, and adding SIP services to the network infrastructure we already deliver is a result of that," said Edward Morche, Level 3 senior vice president of government markets. "Because of our end-to-end IP network not a hybrid TDM/VoIP network like other providers as well as our leadership in delivering VoIP, Internet2 will be able to converge voice and data on a single network, creating tangible network and operational expense savings while laying a foundation for next generation communication and collaboration tools."