Tom Talks Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 news and opinions

Microsoft announce Operator Connect Mobile for Microsoft Teams

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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.

Reference:

Microsoft blog: Announcing Operator Connect Mobile, delivering mobile-first experiences for Microsoft Teams Phone

 

About the author

Tom Arbuthnot

A Microsoft MVP and Microsoft Certified Master, Tom Arbuthnot is Founder and Principal at Empowering.Cloud as well as a Solutions Director at Pure IP.

Tom stays up to date with industry developments and shares news and his opinions on his Tomtalks.blog, UC Today Microsoft Teams Podcast and email list. He is a regular speaker at events around the world.

  • At last – this looks like the integration between Teams/mobilephone calling SHOULD look like :)

  • Thanks for writing this up Tom. Are you confident in stating “Existing Teams compliance session recording solutions will work for both inbound and outbound calls on the mobile” please? If so, this obviously means we could use our existing Teams Compliance Recording solution to cover our mobiles and potentially make significant savings.

    One blocker in my mind is around Teams only supporting a single number per user. Unless there’s a way around this then we would need to drop our existing fixed line Operator Connect or Direct Routing in favour of Operator Connect Mobile.

    Final concern is around call chargers which I assume would be higher then fixed line Operator Connect but we won’t know that until nearer the time.

  • We are a multi-site small business with many DECT phones in retail environments (7 auto repair shops). In our industry, the phones going down is far more disruptive than losing access to our LOB applications.

    This could potentially be a godsend… I would rip out my DECT phones and replace them with a rugged android smart phones that ran over Verizon’s network in a heart beat if the monthly cost was reasonable.

    Has pricing been announced by any of the carriers so far?

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