The line is blurring between Microsoft Teams and actual phone calls

Video calling screen
(Image credit: Shutterstock.com / fizkes)

Your Microsoft Teams calls are set to see a significant boost thanks to a partnership between the company and some of the world's leading mobile operators.

The software giant has announced the launch of Operator Connect Mobile, a new service that will utilize the network footprint of existing operators to make sure Microsoft Teams Phone calls are more reliable and flexible than ever before.

Among other things, the new launch means that users can have a single business-provided number for mobile, desk, and Microsoft Teams, allowing them to work flexibly and securely from any location, device, or network.

Microsoft Teams Phone boost

Microsoft has signed up the likes of BT, Verizon, Swisscom, Telia and Rogers to support the launch later in 2022, providing what it calls "true fixed-mobile convergence".

This should mean that mobile calls can be prioritized on the cellular voice network or internet connection for better call continuity and quality of service, with users also able to seamlessly move between devices and Teams endpoints without dropping calls.

An expansion on the company's hugely successful online collaboration platform, Microsoft Teams Phone combines VoIP (opens in new tab) and video conferencing services to allow users to make and receive phone calls within the software.

The platform styles itself as an all-in-one app that enables rich, reliable, and secure calling, offering services such as conferencing, do not disturb, reverse number lookup, voicemail, and delegation functionality.

The company claims that Microsoft Teams Phone has around 80 million active users across the globe, helping narrow the gap between home and office as more organizations embrace hybrid working.

It now hopes that Operator Connect Mobile will help grow this number, allowing organizations to combine their user's mobile identities with the existing Microsoft Teams and Office 365 cloud tools.

"Today’s announcement marks an important milestone for true fixed-mobile convergence," Microsoft noted in a blog post (opens in new tab) announcing the news. " Operator Connect mobile is a first-of-its-kind fixed-mobile convergence that’s intuitive, device agnostic, and enterprise compliant."

"Operator Connect Mobile enables new opportunities for flexibility, efficiency, security, and compliance, which is particularly relevant in the new hybrid workplace. And as we continue to expand the functionality, the lines between voice calls and meetings, mobile and Wi-Fi networks, mobile and desktop devices, and office and field settings will continue to blur. This is the promise of organizational mobility, and it’s made possible with Operator Connect Mobile."

Microsoft Teams continues to go from strength to strength, with the latest figures from the company showing that the service now boasts over 270 million monthly active users.

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.