South Yorkshire Police has announced plans to move to IP telephony.
The force will implement a Siemens HiPath 8000 softswitch, to help it converge voice and data applications, to centralise communications and reduce associated costs.
The change will take place across South Yorkshire’s 90 police sites, affecting 5,500 users, and will allow the force to add further unified communications software. The core softswitch server hardware will be hosted at two facilities in Sheffield.
South Yorkshire said the change would also reduce the costs around communications and simplify management. The infrastructure would also allow an expansion of the user base to up to 100,000 staff, it said.
Kevin Battersby, network manager, said: “Selecting the HiPath 8000 is the first significant procurement of an IP telephony solution by the police.
“We wanted to maximise our return on our data network investment by adding IP voice capability, which is critical to our operations. Bringing voice into this environment will considerably reduce costs, both in telephony, management and administration outlays.”
Siemens was chosen based on price and features, he said.