Operator-led UCaaS: Why it matters and how it creates value

How operators can react to the challenges posed by over-the-top providers


No one could have predicted that 2020 to 2022 would be the years of unified communication as a service. As COVID-19 resulted in organisations needing a distributed workforce, UCaaS enabled it perfectly.

However, the debate right now is about who’s the rightful frontrunner to capture the value pool. For operators, there are discussions on how they are impacted by OTT UC players like Zoom and Microsoft.

OTT UC is creating tremendous value – but not for operators

Operators were strong in the early hosted IP telephony and UC market since they used the natural strength of their networks and customer base. But as Internet access became a part of workdays worldwide, many innovative OTT UC providers interrupted this. They challenged the operators with their cloud-based and easy-to-use services with outstanding UX.

Furthermore, these interrupters have thousands of software engineers, enabling them to expand toward telephony with PSTN integration and cloud-PBX services. No carrier in the world can afford to match such development speed. As a result, these UCaaS players are increasingly eating into the value chain.

Operator-led UCaaS: a chance to not leave empty-handed

There are two things operators need to leverage to differentiate in UCaas: The first is mobile network assets, and the second is a direct relationship with local customers.

1)  Mobile network assets

To utilise the network assets, operators need to provide UCaaS to integrate with the OSS (Operations support system) and core network platforms. Doing so yields an enhanced service through two things: improved quality of service and full UC benefits with a native dialer.

Improved quality of service
  • The problem with OTT: Current solutions frequently switch between network connections, resulting in dropped UCaaS video calls or variations in call quality consistency. In a survey, 77% of respondents felt that improving video quality of service is important or extremely important.
  • Network advantage: Network integration allows for operators to dedicate 4G/5G bandwidth toward the UCaaS application when users are on the move. As such, the user experience becomes seamless whenever they move around throughout a call due to the high-speed data connection.


Full UCaaS benefits with native dialer
  • The problem with OTT: Current services require agent installations across all main devices (mobile, desktop, tablet). Installing and maintaining these takes up resources and certain devices cannot operate them (such as non-smartphones, traditional business conference phones).
    Using one of these devices without an agent means no synchronised business phone directory. Nor will any call activity be visible in the UC interface, resulting in colleagues mistaking the user for being available when they aren’t.
  • Network advantage: By knowing the numbers of all corporate devices, it’s easy for an operator to synchronise everything via the mobile network. As such, the UCaaS experience is always enabled for all devices.

2) Direct relationships with local customers

Operators will always have the most personal customer relationship due to the nature of the business. Local businesses look to their operators as the main provider of their connectivity and ICT environment.

For UCaaS, it’s no different, as businesses easily get lost in a plethora of solutions that exist on the market. As such, counselling with the operator is a natural part of the buyer’s journey, and should operators have the right solution themselves, and businesses are happy to stop looking further.

Getting started with operator-led UCaaS is easy

Long gone are the days when the OSS/BSS (Operation Support System and Business Support System) integration is longer than the product lifetime itself. Modern cloud-native UC solutions can be integrated with the operator network in a matter of days, with businesses being up and running before the end of the first week.

For an operator, it’s also feasible to carry multiple UCaaS offerings geared toward different business segments. In this article, we go deeper into the nuances between SMEs and enterprises, but in summary, operators must have solutions fit for purpose both from a feature perspective and cost-to-serve.


The years 2020 to 2022 alone have caused enough disruption for operators to miss out on a multi-billion-dollar opportunity. OTT UC’s momentum is unprecedented and puts them in a clear lead. It’s yet to be decided what the end-state UCaaS value chain will look like. Operators that are quick to act have the opportunity to participate in the growth acceleration journey and transcend their B2B business.

If you’d like to learn how to create an operator-led UCaaS offering, visit Telavox’s website and book a live demo today.
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