Microsoft and Google soon to become telecom operators in France?

Microsoft and Google have each received permission from ARCEP to distribute phone numbers to supplement the phone functionality of their respective communications platforms.

The information was formalized in September for Microsoft and in October for Google, although the intervals are not as extensive for the second as for the first. The two giants demanded and obtained from ARCEP allocation of “numbering resources”. Which brings the American giants a little closer to a role of telephone operator to be able to serve unified communications scenarios in the cloud and on the go.

Microsoft expands the Teams sphere

A little over a year ago, Microsoft announced Teams Phone, an evolution of Teams intended to embed a truly service-rich enterprise telephony experience at the heart of the collaborative hub. Aim, to serve users who have become increasingly nomadic with Covid and the rise of hybrid work, and who are waiting for solutions that make it easier for them to transfer 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 have relied on an “Operator Connect” module to connect Teams and the company’s phone operator. However, as of October 2021, Microsoft had also formulated with ARCEP to be awarded “number resources” (geographic numbers, special toll-free numbers, general numbers, routing prefixes, etc.) and the right to distribute phone numbers to its customers.

Microsoft was thus awarded the following intervals last September:

Excerpt from the ARCEP approval

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

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

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

And enough to present some companies’ CIOs with tough choices optimization of telephone expenses and preservation of national digital sovereignty.

A still mysterious Google case

When it comes to allocating call resources, things don’t seem so clear and obvious. Google has obtained such permission, but currently limited to the single geographic area “ZNE Paris”.

Excerpt from the ARCEP approval

Remember that Google Voice is a telecommunications service born after the acquisition of Gizmo in 2009 and available in the United States and Canada.

It is currently unknown if this “limited” allocation is reserved for a preview 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 whether it is for the specific needs of an international company.


Microsoft and Google's data clouds are on a similar trajectory in their attempts to democratize artificial intelligence, promote integrations and multiply partnerships....

Data / AI

Data cloud: Google and Microsoft adjusted on the same track

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