Summary: Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a technology that allows you to make telephone calls over the network instead of your regular telephone line.
Voice over IP (VoIP), which is sometimes referred to as IP Telephony or a converged voice/data network, is an increasingly popular way to provide telephone services in a large enterprise like UCI. Rather than have completely separate systems and communications infrastructure for providing telephone and network services, VoIP provides telephone service on a standard IP data network such as UCInet. There are different types of VoIP telephone services. The type of VoIP that OIT has deployed is referred to as “enterprise” VoIP, which is a OIT-managed telephone system that uses vendor-specific IP telephones that operate on UCInet. An enterprise IP telephone system is designed to support a large enterprise such as UCI. The other type of VoIP is Internet-based IP telephone services offered by an increasing number of commercial service providers such as Vonage, www.vonage.com, and Skype, www.skype.com. These services operate on the commercial Internet and are not currently suitable replacements for an enterprise telephone system.
Beginning in November 2004, OIT began providing IP telephone service to our clients in the Calit2 building. Since then, OIT has been offering the service to our clients in new buildings. The service is based on Cisco’s IP Telephony Solution. The Cisco IP Telephony Solution is connected to the Ericsson campus telephone system and provides many of the same features offered by the Ericsson system. However, there are some differences in the way the new IP telephones operate. Refer to the following link for details: http://www.nacs.uci.edu/telephone/voip/IPfeatures.html
OIT began evaluating and testing IP telephone service in 2002. We have investigated many vendor solutions, but have evaluated and tested solutions from Ericsson, our current telephone system provider, and from Cisco, our current data network provider. In 2004, OIT decided to begin providing production IP phone service using the Cisco solution. OIT was motivated to gain IP telephony experience because the existing telephone system would need to be replaced, or to be upgraded by about 2010, and because OIT believes that all telephone systems of the future will be IP-based. It is no longer a question of will our future telephone system be IP-based, it is a question of how quickly will we migrate from the current Ericsson system to an IP-based system.