Alongside releasing their 2022 Work Trend Index report today, Microsoft also announced Operator Connect Mobile. This is a fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) solution which will allow your mobile device to become a Teams Phone endpoint.
Operator Connect Mobile will preview will begin in Q2 of 2022, with general availability beginning in the second half of 2022. Initial operator partners include BT, Rogers, Swisscom, Telia and Verizon with more operators in more regions to be added in due course.
There are limited details on the specifics. This will be a SIM/eSIM solution that allows your single number to ring Teams and ring your mobile, so think of it as a kind of cloud back to back user agent that is SIP to Teams on one side and GSM/mobile/cell on the other side.
It’s not the same as a call forward/SIM ring, the mobiles PSTN connectivity is actually via Teams (and then via the relevant operator connect mobile operator) meaning both inbound and outbound calls made by the normal mobile phone dial pad route via Microsoft Teams. It also gives a single call history, Teams presence and voicemail. SMS via the native mobile app/SIM will continue to work. SMS in Teams is on the roadmap of Operator Connect Mobile.
Some potential benefits to this approach:
- No sim-ring or call forwarding setup, the mobile is just a “Teams endpoint”
- You can “uplift” or seamlessly transfer the call from your mobile to Teams soft client
- Existing Teams compliance session recording solutions will work for both inbound and outbound calls on the mobile
- Useful for scenarios where WiFi is poor but mobile coverage is available
- This could replace DECT solutions in some scenarios
- The SIM/eSIM could be used with any mobile (though only certain handsets support eSIM) including industry-specific/rugged mobile phones
- eSIMs could potentially be used in BYOD scenarios to allow a “work number” to be used on a BYOD mobile, with all the control of Teams to ensure it only rings when the user wants it to.
- Caller ID replacement can be used to replace outbound mobile call ID with a main number/Contact Center etc.
Operators can leverage Azure for Operators to establish connectivity between the operator’s mobile network and the Microsoft O365 cloud., but they don’t have to, they can continue to leverage their existing certified SBCs, although it may require some custom development based on their situation.
Azure for Operators is using its Metaswitch Perimeta Session Border Controller and offering its Managed Service for Teams Calling to support Operator Connect Mobile, accelerating time-to-market for mobile operator partners.