MSU upgrades to C Spire’s new VoIP phone system

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State University is upgrading the campus telephone system to C Spire’s hosted Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system, thanks to a new Mississippi Department of Information Technology Services (MDITS) statewide contract for telecommunication services. The new system will offer enhanced features.

MSU’s Information Technology Services (ITS) is preparing to migrate approximately 6,000 phone lines from the current legacy phone system to the new VoIP phone system, with a targeted completion date of June 30, 2019.

Steve Parrott, MSU’s chief information officer, said moving to C Spire’s new VoIP phone system will allow MSU to take advantage of new features and provide improved functionality for those using the university’s phone system.

“One of the most notable differences with the VoIP phones is the amazing voice quality,” Parrott said. “Everyone will keep their current MSU phone numbers through this migration process, and we will standardize on a specific VoIP handset.”

Parrott said the standardized handset will include a high-quality speakerphone, color screen display, the ability to have up to 12 line appearances or custom speed-dial buttons, and the option to add side-cars with up to 56 additional line appearances or speed-dial buttons. 

“Think of these phones as mini-computers, as the phones will boot-up similarly to your desktop computer,” Parrott said.

Included among the numerous features and functions of the new VoIP phones is caller-id with the caller’s name being displayed on the phone’s screen for all incoming calls internal to MSU. 

Parrott said one of the most significant changes with this transition is the availability of unlimited domestic (i.e., calls to numbers within the continental U.S.) long distance for all VoIP phones at no additional cost. 

“This will have an enormous financial impact for MSU, as the university uses at least a couple of million minutes of domestic long distance each fiscal year,” he said. “Departments will no longer be charged for domestic long distance calls once they are migrated.”

Installation of the new VoIP phones on the Starkville campus starts in mid-September and will proceed building by building throughout campus until complete. The effort is being coordinated by ITS and other campus departments, along with C Spire. ITS also will explore the applicability of this technology for other MSU campuses and locations.

“C Spire has been wonderful to work with in helping ITS kick this project off, and we look forward to partnering with them for a successful and long-term campus-wide deployment,” Parrott said.

For more on MSU’s Information Technology Services, visit

MSU’s ITS Service Desk can be contacted at 662-325-0631 or

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