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InfoQ Homepage News Microsoft Azure Launches Cloud-Based Voice Gateway for Operators

Microsoft Azure Launches Cloud-Based Voice Gateway for Operators

Microsoft Azure recently announced the general availability of Azure Communications Gateway. This product lets operators connect their fixed and mobile voice networks to Teams Phone, Microsoft's cloud-based system.

Azure Communications Gateway is a managed, cloud-based voice gateway that simplifies the integration of operator networks with Teams Phone. It combines a high-availability, Teams-certified, and mobile-standards-compliant Session Border Controller (SBC) with API mediation function—removing the need for disruptive voice network changes or costly hardware deployments.

According to Microsoft, Azure Communications Gateway allows operators to provide enhanced enterprise calling solutions to Teams users, such as Operator Connect (for fixed-line networks) and Teams Phone Mobile (for mobile networks). For example, operator Connect enables enterprises to use their existing operator contracts and phone numbers with Teams Phone. At the same time, Teams Phone Mobile allows mobile operators to offer native dialing and calling features within the Teams app on mobile devices.

Azure Communications Gateway sits at the edge of an operator's network, where it functions to secure, normalize, and interwork both voice and IT traffic between the operator and Microsoft Teams. In addition, it supports various interoperability scenarios, such as SIP trunking, number portability, emergency calling, media transcoding, and codec negotiation.


According to the documentation Azure, Communication Gateway ensures availability by deploying it into two Azure Regions within a given Geography. In addition, it supports active-active and primary-backup geographic redundancy models to fit the customers’ network design. Furthermore, the customers’ network must follow the Microsoft Teams Network Connectivity Specification and use Azure Peering Service. And finally, sites must also be able to route to both Azure Regions.


Microsoft claims Azure Communications Gateway offers several benefits for operators and enterprises. For operators, it reduces time-to-market and operational costs by eliminating the need for on-premises SBCs or complex network configurations. It also enables them to leverage Microsoft's global cloud infrastructure and scale their services according to demand. For enterprises, it enhances their communication experience by allowing them to use Teams Phone with their preferred operator service plans and phone numbers. It also improves their security and compliance by encrypting all voice traffic between their network and Microsoft's cloud.

Details of the Azure Communication Gateway are available on the documentation landing page. And lastly, Azure Communication Gateway has a tiered pricing structure and per-subscriber billing; customers only pay for what they use. More details on pricing are available on the pricing page.

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