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 computing.co.uk: "As one of the worlds 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.