The Internet2 university network consortium has worked out a deal with Aastra and Level 3 Communications to provide managed voice services and SIP trunking to college campuses throughout the country. Aastra says that its Clearspan hosted SIP calls will do HD voice by default with “no additional changes or charges,” so this could be one whopping big HD voice universe pretty quickly.
Texas A&M University and Tulane Universty are among the early adopters of services. Internet2 boasts over 66 government agencies, laboratories and other institutions of higher learning, 35 regional and state research and education networks and more than 100 national research and education networking organizations.
For higher education, this represents the best of both worlds. Organizations that already have SIP and HD voice running in their LAN/WAN island – keep in mind many universities and colleges have satellite campuses already netted in via IP – can simply set up on whopping big SIP trunk to route outbound voice calls on either a per-minute or flat rate basis. On-net SIP calls between Internet2 members can get routed separately depending on connects, so there’s money saved in inter-university calling.
If an institution decides it doesn’t want to be in the dedicated voice services field, it can subscribe to Aastra’s Clearspan UC services, which include vanilla voice, fixed-mobile convergence, IVR, conferencing and call center applications. Aastra needs a minimum starting order of 50, with an estimated average cost per line per month at around $6.78 before taxes, fees, and other government overhead for 1 to 20,000 lines, with scaling discounts moving from 20,000 upward.