Microsoft and Google soon to be Telecom operators in France?

Microsoft and Google have each received authorization from ARCEP to distribute telephone numbers in order to supplement the telephone functionalities of their respective communication platforms.

The information was formalized in September for Microsoft and in October for Google, even if the ranges are not as extensive for the second as for the first. The two giants demanded and obtained from ARCEP the allocation of “numbering resources”. What bring the American giants a little closer to a role of business telephone operator to better serve unified communication scenarios in the cloud and on the move.

Microsoft is expanding the Teams sphere

Just over a year ago, Microsoft announced Teams Phone, an evolution of Teams intended to integrate a true service-rich enterprise telephony experience into the heart of the collaborative hub. Objective, to serve users who have become more and more nomadic with the Covid and the rise of hybrid work and who are waiting for solutions allowing them to transfer more easily between their devices, to be able to stay in Teams to answer phone calls and take advantage of the transcription function , recording, walkie-talkie and caller ID. For companies, Teams Phone makes it possible to better centralize the distribution of calls and to manage them more simply.



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Until now, these features relied on an “Operator Connect” module to link Teams and the company’s telephone operator. But as of October 2021, Microsoft had also formulated with ARCEP to be assigned “numbering resources” (geographic numbers, special numbers with free tariffs, general-purpose numbers, routing prefixes, etc.) and the right to distribute telephone numbers to its customers.

Microsoft was thus allocated the following ranges last September:

Extract from the ARCEP authorization

What will soon officially and completely launch the Teams Phone offer in France, which is currently only in preview and available mainly in the US.

In other words, companies will now be able to have telephone numbers assigned directly by Microsoft and no longer go through an operator or a PABX to manage their business telephony while retaining the ability to receive and make traditional telephone calls. For users, it will be possible to transfer this number to a Teams workstation or a PC equipped with Teams and use the communication tool that has become central to their daily efficiency for all calls.

Something to cringe at OBS, SFR Business and Bouygues Telecom Entreprise, but also those of smaller operators specializing in interactions between Teams and the world of telephony.

And enough to put the CIOs of certain companies in front of difficult choices optimization of telephone expenses and preservation of national digital sovereignty.

A still mysterious Google case

When it comes to assigning dial-up resources, things don’t seem so clear and obvious. Google has obtained such an authorization but for the moment limited to the only geographical area “ZNE Paris”.

Extract from the ARCEP authorization

Remember that Google Voice is a telecommunications service born from the takeover of Gizmo in 2009 and available in the US and Canada.

It is currently unknown whether this “restricted” allocation is reserved for a preview launch of Google Voice in France or other features for Meet, for example, if it is to serve the specific needs of a French Google Workspace customer. or if it is for the specific needs of an international company.


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