AMU’s communication system to get metamorphosed

Philips Joseph
The communication system within Arba Minch University is on the threshold of getting fully metamorphosed as Information Communication Technology (ICT) Directorate gets ready to phase in much-hyped Unified Communication Project in a month’s time. Unified Communication Project when rolled out stands to enrich university community with multiple IT privileges i.e. Voice-over IP Telephone, Video-Conferencing, Digital Signage & IP TV & Tele-Health Education facilities.

This unprecedented move will streamline overall communication system and also root out myriad of cross-cutting problems like financial issue, time barrier, technical glitches and geographical proximity for the entire university community, said ICT Director Mr Yoseph Debele.
ICT’s hierarchical Local Area Network (LAN) being operated in six campuses, Main, Abaya, Nech Sar, Chamo campuses, Arba Minch Hospital & Agriculture College and AMU’s Secha Condominium, will be utilized to launch above mentioned IT facilities.

Voice-over IP Telephone

Voice-over IP Telephone, a user-friendly gadget that handles technical data, voice and video traffic through special phone instrument has multifarious benefits. Its attached data cables when connected to individual’s computer will allow one to talk, transfer data and even with a mere click of the mouse enable one to see the visual of the person one would be speaking to.
ICT has already installed special server and technical set-up for it. AMU has bought 140 such telephone sets, which will be distributed amongst President, Vice-Presidents, six colleges, departments, deans and directors.
It will remove existing communication snarl-up without incurring running cost; it’s predominantly for internal usage. ICT is likely to put them into use in a month’s time, Mr Yoseph informed.

Video-Conferencing

Recently built four High-Definition (HD) Video-Conferencing facilities (halls) will not only upgrade the quality of education but also catapult AMU in the orbit of highly communicative institution in the country.
Of four HD halls, ICT Building has 2, and Nech Sar Campus 2. Abaya and Chamo campuses have Standard Definition Video-Conferencing Hall one each. 
HD Video-Conferencing Halls are equipped with 100-inch wide screen; each hall has the capacity of 53 students. This facility that has made communication more powerful than ever before; primarily can be utilized for Tele-Health Education for students studying medicine and health sciences.

Tele-Health Education

Tele-Health Education, an important tool to expand the reach and quality of education when integrated with Video-Conferencing facilities will address the health-care needs of undeserved population comprehensively.
This medium has broken the class-room barriers thus widened the horizon of teaching-learning process that promises high-quality education and unhindered access to knowledge to rich and poor alike.
Specialist sitting across the world can teach end-numbers of students. Innumerable students can observe and learn how the surgery is performed etc. PG & Ph.D students defending their thesis, won’t require teacher to come to them, it can be done online. Over 60 students have already post-graduated in Hydraulics & Civil Engineering using this facility, Mr Yoseph added.
These IT privileges will be a boon for all eight varsities, AMU, Mekelle, Gondar, Bahir-Dar, Addis Ababa, Haramaya, Hawassa and Jimma that are inter-connected via Virtual Private Network (VPN), Mr Yoseph averred.

Digital Signage & IP TV

These electronic gadgets will give total face-lift to AMU’s sagging image and flagging visibility. ICT is likely to install 20 such units across university’s campuses in coming month.