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Cambridge University is to install voice over IP (VoIP) handsets to allow students to collaborate on projects more easily.

The university will be supplied with 20,000 VoIP handsets under a deal with BT, Cisco and PTS Consulting - the university's IT consultancy supplier.

Ian Lewis, director of university computing services at Cambridge, told "As one of the world’s leading universities, Cambridge is keen to attract and retain the very best students and researchers.

He added: "Part of that involves providing thoroughly modern facilities that reflect our forward-looking relationship with technology."

The announcement of the project comes as more and more businesses and public services come around to the benefits of VoIP, which can offer free peer-to-peer phone calls and can significantly cut running costs.

Last month, the NHS begun trials of the system for London Trusts as part of a programme of modernisation for its services.

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