Metaswitch recently announced a couple of products that help support Microsoft’s new Operator Connect Mobile service. In this article we’ll help you to understand what this new service is, and whether it’s relevant for you.
How is Operator Connect Mobile different?
You may recall that Operator Connect is an integrated way for a service provider to provide a SIP trunk to business users while making number management easy for the business’s Office 365 administrator.
Operator Connect Mobile does something very similar but uses wireless phone numbers as the starting point (check out this video demo). In other words, a business would use the employee’s existing cell phone numbers as their single DN, and would integrate Teams with these phone numbers. So each employee has a single allocated DN (their cell phone number), and whether they use Teams on the mobile device or on the desktop, any outbound calls to the PSTN are sent using the wireless number.
Which carriers can deploy this?
At the time of writing, the only carriers that are part of OC Mobile are BT, Rogers, Telia, Rogers, Swisscom and Verizon. I’m sure that list will expand, but the key thing to understand is that this new program is for mobile operators. In the same way that regular Operator Connect allowed fixed-line service providers to easily integrate with Teams for wireline business lines, Operator Connect Mobile provides that same integration for wireless carriers using the existing wireless number as the only identity for the employee.
What does this mean for wireline business VoIP providers?
On the one hand… nothing, because unless you’re a major wireless carrier Operator Connect Mobile is not intended for you.
However, you do need to be aware of this from a competitive point-of-view. A business that wants to use Teams now has a few options.
- They could use regular wireline phone numbers with the Microsoft Phone Plan.
- They could use regular wireline phone numbers with Direct Routing (or Operator Connect) through you or another service provider.
- They could go with Operator Connect Mobile and use wireless numbers for Teams, in which case the wireless carrier gets all the business.
This last option probably only works if a business is providing cell phones to their employees, so it certainly isn’t a threat in every scenario, but for some businesses OC Mobile is going to be a compelling offering.