Earlier this year we learnt about Microsoft Teams Operator connect with the public preview rolling out in May. This week at Enterprise Connect, as well as announcing 5 new calling plan countries, Microsoft announced Operator Connect would be generally available this week.
Operator Connect is another option, alongside Calling plans and Direct routing, for Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) connectivity with Teams Phone System. This will not replace Direct Routing, however, this is likely to be the default route to get PSTN carrier numbers unless you have some special SBC requirements.
The operator connect program has some specific technical and contractual requirements. Specifically, on the technical side, it requires directly peering with Microsoft. Requirements include:
- Direct peering through Microsoft Azure Peering Services (MAPS) for Voice
- Ability to offer end-to-end QoS to customers
- SLA to customer
- Must be a regulated and/or licensed operator capable of providing phone numbers and PSTN services
- Must have two individuals pass the Practical Guidance Assessment for Voice
- Must have two individuals with Microsoft 365 Certified: Teams Administrator Associate
- Must be able to provide Tier 1 customer support
- Must meet the requirements related to interconnection, architecture, and integration
Microsoft and Operator Connect Operators also work directly together on any support issues.
Microsoft also announced 9 new operators as launch partners
- Liquid Intelligent Technologies
- Telefonica Global
- Telstra International
They are not yet showing in the Teams Admin Center. I will update the blog if they all appear at GA. They join the original operators from the preview phase, currently showing in the Teams Admin Center:
- BT – 16 regions – Offer Details
- NTT – – 39 regions – Offer Details
- PureIP – 42 regions – Offer Details
- Telnor – 4 regions – Offer Details
- Nuwave – 15 regions – Offer Details
- Intrado – 27 regions – Offer Details
- Telekom Deutschland – Germany only – Offer Details
- Tata – 27 regions – Offer Details
- OBS – 31 regions – Offer Details
- Verizon – USA only – Offer Details
- Rogers for Business – Canada only – Offer Details
More operators will continue to be added to the program.
(Microsoft) Metaswitch Managed SBC for Operator Connect
Microsoft acquired Metaswitch back in May 2020, now we see Metaswitch announcing Managed SBC for Operator Connect,
- built on the Microsoft-certified Perimeta SBC
- Hosted in an Operator’s Azure cloud tenant
- Managed entirely from a central Metaswitch vNOC
This is interesting, as it provides operators a fast SaaS route to Operator Connect.
Microsoft announcement blog: Operator Connect general availability and new Microsoft Teams Phone features to modernize calling