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The George Washington University

The George Washington University (GW) is the largest institution of higher education in the nation’s capital. The University offers comprehensive programs of undergraduate and graduate liberal arts study as well as degree programs in medicine, public health, law, engineering, education, business, and international affairs. Each year, GW enrolls a diverse population of undergraduate, graduate, and professional students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and more than 130 countries. For more information, visit www.gwnewscenter.org.


GW’s Technology, Operations, and Engineering team is nationally recognized as a leader in best practices for mobile wireless communications. The challenges they deal with in serving the university population of 30,000 people include:

• connecting staff and students on three campuses;

• ensuring that staff are accessible and can access full deskphone functionality at all times; and

• building the University’s value proposition to students and parents through critical advances for safety, education, and personal communications.

The University has already upgraded to several Avaya Intelligent Communications technologies, including one-X Mobile, which provides remote access to features such as multi-party conference calling, call transfer, abbreviated dialing, voicemail, and IP telephony. They consider these enhancements part of a long-range vision for mobile wireless communications. They are now looking at solutions for:

• Mobile phone access in elevators, stairwells, and other cellular dead zones;

• Full connectivity during emergencies;

• Student security on and off campus;

• Remote access to electronic courseware and conferencing;

• Cost-savings that can be achieved by using the University’s Wi-Fi system.


The University has tested  Cellular and Wi-Fi mobile phone connectivity with Nokia E61 cell phones and Avaya one-X Mobile for Symbian Dual Mode. This solution offers both cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity, with one-number convenience and access to PBX features. Calls can be transferred between the two modes without dropping the call.

Bret Jones, managing director of technology operations and engineering, reported, “Being able to switch between one’s own cellular GSM network and the University’s Wi-Fi connection is an extremely important evolution in mobility that can bring big benefits to The George Washington University. I believe it will be an important part of solutions for the challenges we are now working on.”

Applications and Services

• Avaya MultiVantage™ Communications Applications
• Avaya Communication Manager
• Avaya S8700 Servers
• Avaya S8500 Servers
• Avaya DEFINITY® Communications Servers
• Avaya Distributed Communication System
• Avaya Integrated Management
• Avaya Consulting and Integration Services
• Avaya Maintenance Agreement
• Avaya INTUITY™ AUDIX® Voice Messaging
• Avaya 6400 Series Digital Telephones
• Avaya Extension to Cellular
• one-X Mobile for Symbian Series 60 3rd Edition Dual Mode
• Avaya SIP Enablement Servers


The University projects important safety, convenience, productivity, and cost-savings enhancements, including:

• Safety and convenience benefits. Dual mode capability will help ensure that people can use their cell phones in the places where GSM networks can’t penetrate. As ubiquitous Wi-Fi access is achieved, people won’t have to find themselves in dangerous dead zones where their safety could be compromised. For example, Jones noted, “We have facilities management people who work in equipment rooms that are several stories underground. They will appreciate the security of having full connectivity.”

• Making enhanced connectivity available for students, staff, and faculty. A possibility for the future could include making available mobile phones that utilize Avaya one-X Mobile technologies. This would allow the individual one-device connectivity for personal calls and other uses.

• Productivity empowered by technology. Avaya one-X Mobile technology has made a big difference in productivity for University administrators who “hotel” at cubes on the different campuses, professors who travel internationally, and IT technicians. In addition, the University envisions moving some of its non-customer facing staff to the Virginia Campus, located 32 miles away. These mobile employees no longer have to miss calls, conferences, and other key activities.

• Cost savings. While they are on campus, users can dial out or receive free calls via the Wi-Fi network. As users leave campus, they can switch the call to the cellular network, or vice versa as they enter campus. On campus, international calls will be dialed by the PBX over Wi-Fi, offering significant savings for students and staff.