UMG final call: Replaced by IP system

10 Nov 2016


Group shot
Associate Director University Networks joins Voice Services and NEC representatives
to celebrate the milestone.

UQ bid farewell to its longest running server this month, retiring the central telephone switching system 'Ultra Module Group' (UMG) after 25 years. As part of the 2016 ITS Voice Services Upgrade, the University has moved to an IP based unified communication system, offering better resource management.


In 1990, MS DOS was still in use and Tim Berners-Lee prototyped something called the World Wide Web. It was also the year that The University of Queensland installed an NEC 2400 Ultra Module Group (UMG) at St Lucia as its central telephone switch system. The installation became an industry case study and averaged 50,000 calls per business day.

At its peak the UMG supported 6,800 extensions at the St Lucia Campus and until December 2009, approximately 12,000 extensions across the network of campuses.

Over two and half decades on the job the server has never been turned off, apart from scheduled maintenance resets. 

Operating in the IP Age

The new NEC SV8500 series IP voice servers seamlessly integrate the voice network into the IP or data network, allowing better resource management. 

Decommissioning ceremony

The UMG decommissioning ceremony on Thursday 10th November 2016 saw one final call made before Max Corlis, retired NEC onsite technician of 18 years, turned off the server. 

The last call
Switchboard operators Lyndel Curcuruto and Robyn
Purse make a final call.
Graeme Wilson
Graeme Wilson, Voice Services Manager, farewells
an era.
UMG switched off
Max Corlis switches off the UMG for the last time. 
The new servers
Peter Ryan, Voice Operations, shows off the new IP
voice servers.