News Release

CQNI Leads Australian Mining Industry With The Adoption of A Cisco Voice Over IP Network

IP based solution to improve communications efficiency in a demanding geographical environment
Jun 08, 2001

BRISBANE - 8 June 2001 - Billiton's Queensland operation, QNI, hassuccessfully implemented a 450-handset Voice over Internet Protocol(VoIP) network at Yabulu, Queensland, using call management and wireless technology from internetworking leader Cisco Systems.

The Network, based on Cisco's Architecture for Voice, Video andIntegrated Data (AVVID) will enable QNI to take advantage of thesignificant cost efficiencies, flexibility and scalability afforded byemploying a single communications network based on Internet Protocol.

QNI is a wholly owned subsidiary of Billiton plc, one of the world'sleading metals and mining companies. The Yabulu site is 25 kilometresnorth of Townsville, producing 28,500 tonnes of nickel and 1,800 tonnes of cobalt per annum.

"Voice over IP technology is around in the corporate environment butwe're actually using it in an operating industrial campus environment," said Mr Ross Thorne, IT infrastructure manager for QNI. "The reason we went for Cisco's AVVID network architecture, including VoIP and wireless, was lower total cost of ownership and flexibility in enabling value-adding business tools."

QNI decided to implement the new fully switched 10/100 megabits persecond network, rather than upgrade its existing PABX and copper linenetwork at the site. This solution also addressed QNI's voicemailrequirements through implementing Cisco's ActiveVoice voicemailmessaging product. The solution was supplied by NewBase ComputerServices, a leading Queensland-owned systems integrator and CiscoPremier Partner.

"When it came time to replace QNI's aging PABX, QNI and their technology partners, NewBase, were faced with a contemporary problem.," said Mr. Peter Ellwood, NewBase managing director. "Just install another old world PABX or consider Voice over IP."

As the IP telephony technology works on QNI's existing data network, it is estimated that the reduction in phone call costs to QNI will be more than $90,000 per annum by allowing calls to bypass the national phone network when making calls between Yabulu, QNI's headquarters in Brisbane and other offices.

QNI expects to save another $15,000 in reduced network administrationcosts by running a single, IP-based network for all voice and datacommunications. The harsh conditions of the environment had damaged the PABX copper wiring to a level that would have required completereplacement. By utilizing the existing data network instead of having to replace the old copper wiring, QNI were able to make significant savings during the installation.

"Set up and expansion costs are low," said Mr Thorne. "Since the IPphones are plugged into the existing data network, handsets can berapidly deployed or moved, without the need for outside contractors.

"Wireless connections can also be used to support new areas that wouldtraditionally need fibre-optic or copper cabling," he said.

Cisco Queensland Manager, John Winters said "with only one network to be installed and maintained, the AVVID solution becomes a wonderful way of piggybacking video and data applications onto a company's existing telephony investment. The additional benefit is that the architecture enables a host of converged applications such as unified communications, toll bypassing, IP contact centre, ICM and CallManager solutions."


Cisco's AVVID technology provides an intelligent network infrastructurefor Internet business solutions. As the industry's only enterprise-wide,standards-based network architecture, it provides the roadmap forcombining business and technology strategies into one cohesive model.

Voice and video solutions based on AVVID are comprised of scalable callprocessing, IP-based business applications, video-conferencing,directory services, network management, service and support, and clientdevices such as IP phones. The specific Cisco equipment installed by QNIincludes: Cisco Catalyst LAN Switch 6500 and 3500 products, CiscoVoIP/Data Router 3600 products, Cisco IPTEL Call Manager, Cisco 7960 and7910 IP phones.