The University of Arkansas at Little Rock has started a new voice over internet protocol (VoIP) telecommunications project that uses the campus data network. As part of the project, new telephony switch hardware has been purchased that allows the campus network to support devices such as phones and wireless access points.
IT Services investigated providers for the new service and chose the local telecommunications company that has provided telcom service on campus for many years. This should expedite the transition to the new hardware.
UA Little Rock is in a pilot project involving three departments on campus that have been moved to the new VoIP service. These departments are testing the service and resolving any issues that arise. IT Services anticipates the testing will continue through May, depending on the provider’s ability to repair issues. Once all the issues are addressed, the rest of campus will begin the migration to the new system.
The new phone system will be a unified communication platform that will offer many new features such as the ability to link an external number to a desk extension (twinning) and softphone. Line changes will be much easier, for example, as they will be handled in-house instead of submitting a work order to the service provider.
New phone numbers
The most noticeable change in the new system will be the creation of new phone numbers for campus. Previously, the campus had 25 different phone number prefixes.
Once the migration is completed, the entire campus will use only one prefix — all phone numbers will be 916-XXXX — allowing for four-digit dialing and increasing the organizational identity for UA Little Rock.