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Mitel/Level 3 SIP Services

overview
Service Type:
Video, Voice & Collaboration
Phase:
General Availability
Eligible Subscribers:
Internet2 Member or Other R&E Participant
Sponsors:
Texas A&M University, Tulane University
Contact:
Ben Fineman

Your Voice in the Cloud

Universities don't need to be their own phone companies any longer—and don't need to spend millions of capital dollars—when we can work together and deliver phone service across the Internet2 community, using a common model at a low price point per line.

Mitel and Level 3 Communications, as part of the Internet2 NET+ SIP Program, are offering a cost-effective alternative to traditional voice services. Several universities are deploying SIP Services and working together to further develop features and functionality tuned to work particularly well in a research and education environment. The early adopter campuses include Texas A&M University, Iowa State University, Tulane University, University of Maryland Baltimore County, and Loyola University of Maryland with dozens of others currently involved in 30-day pilot projects.

The Mitel offering delivers a cloud-based hosted service that includes unified communications, call center and other services. Level 3 provides SIP-based services such as local trunks, long-distance trunks, toll-free, conferencing and other services. Industry-standard SIP protocols provide flexibility, local control and local survivability, and empower institutions to customize the solution to meet their unique campus needs.

Benefits of Hosted Services

For most organizations, hosted solutions offer many benefits over premise-based systems including:

  • Lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
  • Better utilization of resources
  • Business continuity
  • Lower risk of obsolescence
  • Reduced complexity

Benefits Unique to Internet2 NET+ SIP Program

In addition to the benefits of using hosted services, the Internet2 NET+ SIP Program offers many unique benefits which may not be available with competing solutions:

  • Lowest pricing
  • Open standards solution
  • Backed by the ITEC lab
  • Local control
  • Community-driven

For more information on these benefits, download the Services Brochure.

features

Overview of Aastra and Clearspan, their award-winning Large Enterprise Voice Over IP (VOIP) solution; includes applications, features and benefits.

Clearspan is a complete solution for unified communications providing all of the applications your users need, at any of the locations where they work, on any of the devices they use. It not only offers classic PBX-like services, but also a rich set of enhanced services including unified messaging, fixed-mobile convergence, interactive voice response, conferencing, collaboration and call center applications.

Clearspan allows employees to make and receive calls from any device, at any location, with only one phone number, one dial plan, one voice mailbox, and a unified set of features.

Built from the ground up with Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) at its core, Clearspan supports a wide range of endpoints. This includes desk phones from Aastra or 3rd parties, soft phones, mobile and video clients. And since it provides carrier-grade reliability, it is the perfect choice for institutions that require high-capacity, mission critical performance.

Internet2 Hosted Services brochure (PDF) • Aastra Hosted PBX Services (PDF) • Aastra Pilot Program (PDF)  Hosted PBX feature list (PDF) • IP Phones Matrix (PDF) 

Applications

Clearspan Communicator (PDF) is a unified communications client which provides a single and consistent user interface for the Windows, Mac, iOS or Android platforms - letting your users easily access multiple applications from the device of their choice. Clearpan Communicator can be used to make and receive both video and voice calls as well as initiating call control features. Clearspan Communicator integrates with the enterprise directory and personal contacts, including call logs and can be used to manage features such as Clearspan Anywhere™.

Aastra OnDemand (PDF) Web Collaboration is a feature-rich web and video conferencing tool for hosting online meetings, webinars and training. With Aastra OnDemand Web Collaboration, businesses will have more capacity to drive revenue, reduce costs and increase operating efficiency.

Clearspan Call Center (PDF) provides a range of options from Standard to Premium licenses and clients for an Agent or for a Supervisor. Whether your institution needs basic ACD functionality for a single workgroup or a solution for a large number of agents spanning multiple locations, Clearspan's Call Center solution can be tailored to fit your needs.

Clearspan Unified Messaging (PDF) goes beyond classic voicemail and provides users with the flexibility to use and manage their messaging service from anywhere, and over any interface. Clearspan messaging provides all of the features of a traditional voice messaging solution, as well as message delivery to any specified email account, fax and video messaging, and much more.

Clearspan Receptionist (PDF) is an integrated, desktop client application that provides an IP telephony attendant console for use by enterprise receptionists. The objective of Clearspan Receptionist is to simplify business processes and deliver critical information in real time to accommodate professional call handling.

Clearspan Anywhere™ is a native fixed-mobile convergence solution within Clearspan that lets end users designate a single phone number for all incoming and outgoing calls, regardless of which phone they are currently using—mobile, office, home, etc. Calls to a single number ring all phones and the user is free to answer on any device. Once a call is active on the single number, the user is free to pick up any other device and continue the conversation uninterrupted. For example, you can easily move a call from your office phone to your mobile (or vice-versa) without interrupting the conversation.

NET+ SIP Program: Level 3® SIP Trunking

Now you can realize greater value from your university communication offerings. When you converge your campus voice and data onto a single network with the Level 3® SIP Trunking service, you can save network and operational expenses while laying a foundation for next-generation communication and collaboration tools.

Our mature solution is backed by deep IP telephony experience. You get the reliability your institution demands over our large-scale, owned and operated, purpose-built VoIP network.

Moving to VoIP is more than an equipment upgrade. The right provider can help your university reap the benefits of VoIP services and place you on a path that avoids technology obsolescence.

  • Work with a VoIP Leader – That helped set the standards for VoIP. After more than 12 years, we've earned a reputation as a trusted provider with an extensive 87% U.S. telephone number coverage in addition to the ability to terminate calls nearly anywhere in the world.
  • Deliver New Services Faster – Without large capital and network expenses.
  • Migrate on Your Own Schedule – With support for both today's TDM needs and future VoIP migrations.
  • Offer the Right Services – Including local and long-distance with optional toll-free, advanced calling, mobility and business continuity features.
  • Support Campus 911 Requirements – With Static 911 services for end-user service locations within Level 3's voice footprint, and geographically independent, nomadic 911 services for unified communications deployments.
  • Leverage Pooled Concurrent Call Paths – Share idle capacity across the enterprise to reduce oversubscription on site-specific trunks.
  • Get Cost-Effective Access – By leveraging your existing Internet2 Network connection to connect to the Level 3 SIP Trunking infrastructure.
  • Support Multiple Platforms – The Level 3 SIP Trunking service is offered in conjunction with Aastra for the Internet2 SIP Services offering. Our service is also certified on Avaya®, Cisco® and Microsoft® platforms—and we're confident we can integrate with any platform you deploy.

Additional SIP Trunking Resources

Learn more about Level 3's SIP Trunking capabilities today, or view one of a number of resources we've created to help ready you for advanced voice technology.

  • Watch the Video – This brief video shows how the Level 3 SIP Trunking service can centralize your voice network with the security and Nomadic E-911 features your campus environment needs.
  • Use the SIP Savings Calculator – With your inputs into this interactive tool, the SIP Trunking ROI Calculator can help you estimate how much you can save over your current PRI solutions.
  • Read the Whitepaper – In SIP Trunking: How to Get It — and Where You Can Expect to Save, we walk you through considerations including potential cost savings, improved business practices, and the choices that exist for upgrading an existing voice network.

NET+ SIP Services: Aastra® Hosted PBX

Hosted PBX Services are offered using Aastra's Clearspan® platform.

fees

By leveraging the combined buying power of the members of the community, Internet2 is able to offer pricing levels measured to be lowest TCO in the industry. A complete package for an end user including hosted unified communications, SIP trunking and long distance services is around $6.50 per month per user.

There is a complete pricing sheet available for all of the base services and optional services. Working with several schools, Internet2 developed a general estimate of an average cost per line. Each school will pay the actual costs for the specific services and features they purchase. A "full" service solution for a school at each discount level is available upon request. As the Internet2 members collectively increase the number of lines in service, the costs for all the schools will be reduced.

To find more information on pricing for your organization, please contact sip@internet2.edu.

faq

General

What are the services available? What is this service about?

As part of the ongoing effort of Internet2 to leverage the Internet2 Network for members, a community led team issued an RFP in January 2012 for Hosted PBX and SIP trunk services. After evaluating the bid responses, two vendors were selected—Mitel's Clearspan for Hosted PBX, and Level 3 for SIP trunk services. These services are available for purchase to organizations connected to Internet2. The intent is to replace existing PBXs or other hosted solutions an organization may be using with a less expensive alternative. You may choose one or the other, or both.

What Hosted PBX Services are offered?

There are two levels of unified communication service from Mitel based on its Clearspan platform —basic and premium. The basic service provides the user with a core set of basic features such as Hold, Transfer, Conferencing, etc. The premium service offers full PBX features. Voicemail and unified messaging (voicemails delivered as .wav files to the user's email address) can be added to either the basic or premium packages. There are also call center and conference features, and other advanced telephony features available.

What SIP Trunking Services are offered?

Regarding SIP trunks from Level 3, there are a variety of configurations available:
  • SIP Trunks with Flat Rate Local and Long Distance: This service provides all call termination, both local and long distance, for a flat monthly fee. International calls are measured and billed on a per-minute model.
  • SIP Trunks with Flat Rate Local and measured Long Distance: This service provides Flat Rate Local call termination with measured long distance per-minute pricing
  • Level 3 Long Distance and Toll Free: Level 3 Long Distance, International Long Distance, and Toll Free services are all available via as stand-alone service, as well as part of local trunk services.
  • Level 3 Conferencing and Collaboration Services: Level 3 provides SIP-based voice, video and Web Conferencing services, either as a stand-alone service or integrated into a local trunk product.

Is there a contractual commitment for the service? If so, what are the terms and conditions?

Yes. The service is designed on a five year program to make sure the schools and the service providers don't invest a lot of energy in migration without a guarantee of reliable service over an extended period.

Do I have to be an Internet2 member to take advantage of these services?

The primary condition is that your organization must be connected to the Internet2 Network. If your organization is not a direct member of Internet2, then a more detailed discussion needs to happen.

Do you have more details about the service offering?

There are a number of resources available to provide more information including independent market research on the ROI of hosted services, training and tutorials on the product offerings, case studies from early adopters, and recordings from past webinars. To access these resources please see the Learn More section in the right column or request more information by emailing sip@internet2.edu.

I'm ready to sign up. What is my next step?

Please contact Internet2 by email at SIP@internet2.edu.

How long will this service be available?

The intent is to continue this service as long as the community is benefiting. The original services are intended for a minimum of 5 years. If necessary, before the expiration of the current contract a new RFP will be issued requiring the same SIP standards in the current environment as well as increased capabilities as applications develop.

What if the Internet2 Network is down? Will I lose my ability to make and receive phone calls?

Local survivability options are available from both Aastra and Level 3. There will be standard survivability configurations available or one can be customized to your organization's requirements.

Are there a minimum number of stations or trunks that my organization would need to sign up for?

Yes. For Mitel's Clearspan service, a minimum order of 50 is required initially from an organization (subsequent orders from the same organization do not have to order the minimum of 50). There is no minimum requirement for SIP trunks.

What telephone instrument choices are there?

Mitel offers a variety of different models to fit any need and budget. SIP compliant third party devices are also supported, contact Mitel for a list of supported devices. In addition, Mitel offers soft clients for the PC desktop, MAC and mobile devices.

Will 911 be supported with both Mitel and Level 3?

There is a lot of flexibility with regard to routing calls. Mitel's Clearspan is fully compliant with NENA specifications and has the built-in ability to route E911calls to the appropriate PSAP or local public safety office. In addition, Mitel's Clearspan has the ability for advanced E911 such as dynamic endpoint tracking, security desktop alerting and integration with VoIP Positioning Center services. It is the responsibility of the local institution to maintain accurate entries in the PS-ALI database through their LEC.

If Mitel's Clearspan is chosen to replace an organization's dial tone service, Mitel will route calls as requested by the customer regardless of who provides trunks. If Mitel is not chosen as a dial tone replacement, but Level 3 is chosen for SIP trunks, the organization will need to route the calls appropriately. Level 3 has worked with a variety of customers and should be able to accept call route directions and send the call to the appropriate PSAP if desired.

What if I want to send my emergency calls to my campus police department instead of a PSAP?

No problem! Mitel's Clearspan offers a variety of routing options and can accommodate such a request.

What are the prices for the Hosted PBX services?

There is a complete pricing sheet available for all of the base services and optional services. Working with several schools, Internet2 developed a general estimate of an average cost per line. Each school will pay the actual costs for the specific services and features they purchase. A "full" service solution for a school at each discount level is available upon request. As the Internet2 members collectively increase the number of lines in service, the costs for all the schools will be reduced.

Migration Process

How long will it take to migrate from my current system to this new service?

Service turn-up, from Mitel, typically requires 45-90 days. Add-ons to existing customers typically require two to eight weeks depending on the number of users to switch over. Full campus migrations may be spread out over a 12 month period. If you choose Level 3 for trunk services, Level 3 generally recommends 6-8 weeks once a plan has been devised. If you choose both services, both Mitel and Level 3 will work with your organization to devise a comprehensive migration strategy.

Can you describe the migration process to a SIP dial tone service?

For SIP phone service, there are generally two options: 1) Add new features to a legacy PBX or 2) Full VoIP deployment from Internet2's SIP Services on the Mitel Clearspan service. If option 1 is selected, SIP tie trunks are put in place between your existing PBX and the Mitel Clearspan service (additional fees apply for tie trunks). Routing between the two systems will need to be setup and tested. If option 2 (preferred) is chosen, numbers/extensions are assigned, phones are shipped and deployed and users can begin using the services immediately. Hybrid scenarios (a combination of both options) are also available.

Telephone Numbers

What telephone numbers can I/will I use?

If you choose to use Mitel's Clearspan as your dial tone replacement but keep your current provider for trunks, porting is not required. If you choose to use Level 3 for trunk services, Level 3 will assist in porting your numbers from your current provider to Level 3.

I have an NPA/NXX block of numbers. Do I have to migrate them all over at once?

No. Numbers can be ported via blocks or individually.

How does the number porting process work? What does it cost me?

Individual or bulk porting requests are submitted via the Level 3 customer portal. The base price for porting is $0.50 per number. Additional discounts may be available for porting large blocks and will be handled on a case by case basis.

I have 3 different campus locations. Can I integrate them all into one dialing plan?

If you currently have one dialing plan for all campuses, you can integrate them into the same dialing plan whether choosing Mitel, Level 3, or both. If you do not have one dialing plan, depending on how many DID numbers you require, a new block of numbers will need to be obtained.

Is it possible to have a dialing plan between different schools?

It is possible, but further investigation would be required.

What about CALEA compliance?

Both Mitel and Level 3 are CALEA compliant.

What about ADA compliance?

Mitel devices are hearing-aid compatible. Level 3 supports 711 Telecommunications Relay Services as outlined in Title VI of the ADA.

I need to have detailed billing information for each department and for compliance. How will the bills be handled?

Detailed billing information will be provided from each respective vendor.

Features

There are a lot of features I have enabled on my PBX today. How do I make sure I have all of those on the Mitel Clearspan service?

The Mitel solution includes a very feature rich platform. A list of features and descriptions for these features can be downloaded here. Hosted PBX Feature List (PDF)

How does the SIP phone service integrate with OCS (or LYNC)?

Mitel's Clearspan service has the capability to integrate with Microsoft Lync. There are many options and Mitel would work directly with the members to customize a solution. Level 3 SIP Trunking fully supports Microsoft Lync and is the SIP and Infrastructure provider for the Microsoft Lync Reference Architecture project.

Can I order long distance only? How does that connection work?

You can order long distance only from Level 3 provided your current trunk provider can route the calls to Level 3 (referred to as "PIC").

How are the long distance calls rated? Is the long distance based on a per-minute or a flat rate?

Level 3 has two options available. There is a per-minute charge available as well as a flat rate for domestic long distance services. International long distance services are available on a per minute basis.

Who will I call for support? Am I responsible for troubleshooting?

Users of either service will need to call your campus support group (i.e. the campus Help Desk). If that group cannot resolve the issue, campus support will call the appropriate vendor (Mitel or Level 3).

Can I obtain "sample service" if I just want to try this service for a few weeks?

Mitel has developed a Pilot Program to allow organizations to trial the service with up to 10 users for 30 days free of charge. For more information please visit this link.

I have mostly Cisco/Avaya/other manufacturer telephones on my campus, will these work on the SIP phone service?

Contact Mitel for a list of SIP standard third party phones that are compliant with the service.

I already have a state contract for my long distance service. Can I purchase only local service?

Provided your contract allows you to purchase only local trunks, Level 3 can provide this service.

I recently installed a new PBX System/currently have a PBX. Can I purchase local trunking without the Hosted PBX?

Yes. Level 3 can provide SIP trunks to a variety of PBX systems.

What devices do I have to install on campus? Do I have to buy and manage those? What options do I have to select the devices?

A list of compatible devices (Mitel's and other 3rd party products) will be made available. If these devices are purchased from Mitel, all SIP Service support calls will be handled by a single entity.

For SIP trunks, a session border controller (SBC) will be required by Level 3. The customer can purchase and manage their own SBC or the SBC can be purchased from and managed by Level 3. Level 3 supports session border controllers from most vendors.

How does faxing work? Can I continue to use my existing fax machines? Do you have fax to email capabilities?

Provided your carrier supports the T.38 fax relay standard (Level 3 supports T.38), Mitel has the ability to process and route inbound T.38 fax calls to a user's email account. Depending on the age and model of your fax machine, a gateway adapter may be required to enable your device to utilize the Hosted PBX service to operate.

What are the service levels for the service? What happens if I have poor service?

Level 3 provides services levels for both service availability and call completion of 99.9%. Customers are entitled to service credits when the SLAs are not met. Mitel employs network monitoring tools to track performance.
participate

Thank you for your interest in Internet2 NET+ SIP Services. Please check NET+ Mitel/Level3 SIP Services home for updates as they become available. Check the Internet2 NET+ Initiative site for news and updates on all Internet2 NET+ service offerings. Have a question not answered here? Send an email to sip@internet2.edu.