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3Coms VoIP solution simplifies communications at Prince of Songkla University

Zafar Anjum | Nov. 26, 2009
PSU wanted a communication network that was highly cost-effective

SINGAPORE, 26 NOVEMBER 2009 - Faced with escalating communications costs, The Prince of Songkla University (PSU) had to place restrictions on inter-campus calls.

Staff and faculty were only allowed to make calls that were really important, and those calls had to be as short as possible. That didnt help much, as important calls tended to be fairly extensive. PSUs search for a more cost-effective solution brought it to the latest VoIP (voice over IP) technology and to one of the worlds VoIP leader3Com.

According to 3Com, the installation of the 3Com solution began in 2006 in several phases until 2008.

Background

PSU was the first university to be set up in southern Thailand. Established in 1967, it has its main campus in Hat Yai and four subcampuses in the Pattani, Phuket, Suratthani and Trang districts.

This broad distribution of campuses across the south of Thailand creates a high demand for high-quality communications to connect the universitys 30,000 students and 8,000 employees.

But such communications using conventional telephone lines came with a high price.

The challenge

With personnel spread out across its five campuses, PSU wanted a communication network that was highly cost-effective, specifically one that could tame its escalating telephony costs.

At the same time, PSU was also looking at the future. Apart from cost savings, we also wanted a network that could support advanced communication services, including voice, e-mail, video conferencing and fax in an easily manageable way, said Kosit Chitpong, head of telecommunication services department, PSU Computer Center.

The 3Com solution

3Com was selected as PSUs partner of choice following a lengthy and thorough evaluation process. 3Coms solution delivered outstanding value, reliability and quality, Kosit said.

PSUs strategy was to reconfigure their private branch exchange (PBX) in all its campuses. The interconnections between all existing PBXes were modified from conventional telephone links to four VoIP gateways powered by two redundant 3Com VCX SIP servers at the main Hat Yai campus.

One exception was the Trang campus which upgraded its old and limited capacity PBX to a full VoIP system with local IP phones. It incorporated a 3Com VCX 7000 SIP server; 3Com Switch 7700 as the core switch; and 3Com switch 5500G and 3Com Switch 4500 PWR as distributed switches supporting PoE (power over ethernet) which were deployed in each faculty.

The final 3Com solution at PSU is a pure VoIP system, covering the universitys five campuses and more than 8,000 telephone terminals. The Trang campus has also become the first fully VoIP network in Thailand.

Benefits

The benefits of this move included significant cost savings and simplified communications for the university.

After the installation of 3Com solutions, PSU is enjoying significant cost savings through the 3Com network. In the Trang campus alone, we estimate savings of around three million baht (US$86,000) since implementing the 3Com VoIP network, said Kosit.

 

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