Review these frequently asked questions for more information about VoIP at the University of Toronto and the migration to Teams Phone.

VoIP at U of T

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. It is a technology that allows you to make voice calls using a network connection instead of a regular (analog) phone line. VoIP converts your voice into a digital signal for transmission.

With VoIP, you don’t need a physical phone. To make and receive calls, you can use an application on your computer along with headphones or earbuds with a microphone, or an application on your mobile phone. To make a call to one of your contacts, search for their name in the application and call them. You can also manually dial numbers from the application.

Please visit the VoIP Training and Support page for user guides.

One of the end-user experiences that will be affected is 5-digit dialing (direct extension dialing). Currently, Bell Centrex users are able to dial 946- and 978- numbers using only the last 5 digits of the phone number.

Once a phone line is moved from Bell Centrex to VoIP, that number will no longer be reachable from a Bell Centrex line using 5 digits. Users will be required to dial all 10 digits of the phone number. If they call the number using only 5 digits, they will hear a ‘your call cannot be completed’ message. VoIP users will be able to dial both Bell Centrex and VoIP phone numbers using only 5 digits.

The circumstances below that indicate "yes" show when 5-digit dialing works:

  • Centrex to Centrex calling – Yes
  • Centrex to VoIP – No (you must dial 9 + 10 digit phone number)
  • VoIP to Centrex – Yes
  • VoIP to VoIP – Yes

Microsoft Teams Phone will be the University’s new VoIP solution for making and receiving phone calls. Teams Phone will replace the Communicator 7 soft client application, which is no longer supported by GoCo.

Telecom provides the following support:

  • A physical Polycom VVX311/411/501/601/IP6000 phone connected by wired cable to the internet
  • Assist users to log into their Communicator 7 desktop software or mobile app
  • Ensure the Communicator 7 desktop software can receive incoming calls and make outbound calls on a wired connection to the internet
  • Ensure the Communicator 7 mobile app can receive incoming calls and make outbound calls on a mobile data connection to the internet

Please note that the following setup is not a standard configuration supported by Telecom. We will make our best effort to assist users if they encounter issues, however we cannot guarantee voice quality for these setups:

  • Using Communicator 7 over Wi-Fi network on any type of device
  • Headsets are not supported because there are too many headset variants among different manufacturers, and each model has its own features that may or may not work with Communicator 7
    • The user is responsible for ensuring the headset chosen works with Communicator 7. We can provide recommended hardware if requested, but it is not a substitute for standard configuration.

Best practices for Communicator 7 use:

  • Your Communicator 7 account should not be logged in more than once simultaneously on the same type of device (i.e., on two computers at once). This will cause incoming call routing issues, where a call can be received on one device but not the other, or calls may not ring on either device. However, you can login using difference devices (i.e., your computer and mobile)at the same time using the same account.
  • Assign one Communicator 7 account per user (strongly recommended). If the account must be shared, then a “one login at a time” policy needs to be strictly enforced. The person using a shared Communicator 7 account must log out of the app at the end of their shift.
  • Do not enable VPN connection while using Communicator 7, as this can cause reduced audio quality during high-traffic times.

Visit the My Phone Training website for links to download the Communicator 7 app for Windows desktop and IOS.

To download the app on a cell phone, you can find the application in the App Store for Apple devices or Google Play for Android devices.

Depending on where you are and whether or not the network you are using has emergency backup power, your VoIP phone and/or computer may lose power. If this happens, you will not be able to make phone calls using the VoIP system. We recommend that you keep a Bell line active for emergencies or use a cell phone to make calls during power outages.

Departments pay a Telecom admin fee to cover the staffing and operating costs of the central Telecommunications unit.

As part of the VoIP billing process, one of the primary goals was to increase transparency. The Telecom admin fee used to be built into the Bell Centrex line fees charged to departments. The updated VoIP billing process splits out the VoIP line fee from the Telecom admin fee in your departmental phone bill.

Telecommunications is a central cost recovery unit which provides a wide variety of services to departments. The Telecom admin fee covers the staffing and operating costs of this unit. Learn more about Telecom services.

Microsoft Teams Phone Migration

Faculty and staff who have individual VoIP phone lines will be migrated. Currently, Teams Phone is not meant for complex, multi-line calling environments (i.e., hunt groups, where incoming calls are routed to a group of users, call centres, auto-attendant).

Please note that physical VoIP phones are currently not in scope for the migration.

Active staff and faculty with an active UTmail+ A5 license account are eligible to migrate to Teams Phone.

Note: Most staff and faculty have a UTmail+ A5 license account. Telecom will be validating these accounts during the migration process.

Teams Phone will replace the Communicator 7 soft client application, which is no longer supported by GoCo. The migration to Teams Phone will also unify the University’s communication tools and simplify the user experience.

The Telecom team will reach out to each department and work with them on a migration schedule.

Yes, you will be able to keep your current number.

Teams Phone is integrated into Microsoft Teams. If you don’t already have Teams on your device(s), you will need to install it.

Yes, users will be able to get the same experience on mobile devices as on the desktop Teams app.

No, this is currently not supported.

As with most VoIP solutions, Teams Phone calling should not be relied upon for emergency situations or safety issues. A cell phone or hardwired Bell Centrex phone is recommended in these situations.

The cost is a $15 flat rate per user per month.

No, there is no cost to migrate to Teams Phone.

You will need a VoIP line assigned to you to use Teams Phone. Please speak with your manager if you need VoIP.

Yes, we have tested the Polycom VVX311 and VVX411 phones and can confirm that they will work with MS Teams and Office 365 with some manual reconfiguration of the phone’s settings. Telecom can provide instructions on how to do this, however it is not an officially supported mode of operation.

The pivot to remote work forced by the pandemic has demonstrated that the use of a headset and a software client like Communicator 7 or MS Teams is far more flexible and allows users much greater mobility.

The Polycom phones that were purchased during the initial VoIP migration are much like other IT assets and have a more limited lifespan than the old beige Bell Centrex phones, and they will reach end of life over the next two to three years, depending on the model.

While Telecom will provide a list of recommended MS Teams compatible desk phones that departments may purchase to replace these phones, we recommend that the MS Teams client be the standard and that the use of desk phones be the exception.

Departments may still choose to have a hardwired Bell Centrex phone installed in areas where safety is a concern. View pricing here.

Facilities and Services recycles the University’s e-waste. Please contact the Waste Management and Recycling team at recycling@utoronto.ca to determine the best way to recycle your old desk phone.

 

For the technical questions about VoIP, refer to the “How Do I?” FAQs and review the VoIP Training and Support page.