Cutting Edge Voice and Data Infrastructure on a Single Network at McMurry University

Updating an older telephone and network infrastructure simultaneously can be an overwhelming experience, but it can also yield improved voice and data service. Located in Albiene, Texas, McMurry University accepted this challenge and now uses a single network for both voice and data, enabling the University to offer new services to the entire campus.

At the same time, the University also decided to upgrade its data network. After requesting proposals for a single network capable of carrying both voice and data, McMurry selected A&A Telecom Group's proposal for Mitel Corp.'s NeVaDa converged voice and system application. McMurry also selected Mitel's OPS Manager to manage the new solution.

The Mitel solution provides the campus with the latest in telecommunications services, Internet access and high bandwidth data network capabilities, all over a single, centrally managed backbone network.

The Decision to Upgrade

"We received a Department of Education grant to upgrade our data network, which was then a 10 megabyte Ethernet serving six buildings with a single 56K Internet connection for the entire campus," says Scott Fritz, director of Network services for McMurry University. "After doing some preliminary research, we discovered it was possible to converge voice and data over the same network infrastructure."

McMurry received a number of responses to its request for a converged solution and, after careful evaluation, concluded that only Mitel's proposed solution met its requirements. "The other proposals were basically for separate voice and data infrastructure," says Fritz. "One would have required running about 1,000 strands of copper for voice, plus separate fiber optic cable for data. Mitel's ATM-based solution was able to meet our requirements with only six strands of fiber linking all 12 buildings on campus."

About the Network

McMurry University's Mitel system consists of two SX-2000 LIGHT control nodes plus a NeVaDa hub with 12 LBT-155 modules located centrally at the Administration building and linked by fiber optic cable to a peripheral node in each of the twelve buildings. The system includes integrated voice mail, provides 23 dial-up Internet connections campus-wide, and has 92 lines out to the public network - compared to the old system's maximum of 12. The University centrally manages its NeVaDa system using Mitel OPS Manager, which allows IT personnel to manage and maintain the network centrally from anywhere on the corporate LAN - including via remote dial-up.

The Applications

The Mitel NeVaDa System is providing on-campus students with telephone service including a phone number and voice mailbox. In addition, staff, faculty and students have their own 10Base-T data port in their dorm room or office. For the Alumni, the University has added a live broadcast of McMurry athletic events, available over the Internet.

In addition to offering state-of-the-art telecommunications services, this converged network supplies Ethernet connections to every residence hall student, faculty and staff member on the campus. McMurry also serves as the dial-up ISP to all off-campus students.

By utilizing Mitel's NeVaDa solution, McMurry University now offers cutting edge telecommunications services to attract students and faculty, giving them a competitive advantage.

Contact Information

Mitel Corp.
Kanata, Ontario, Canada
(613) 592-2122

This article originally appeared in the 08/01/1999 issue of THE Journal.