The telephone industry certainly has changed. I can see how an international telephone operator might have more job opportunities.
Large companies who have switchboard operators also heavily rely on the services of a telephone operator.
I worked once as a telephone operator/receptionist for a company. It was my job to greet people when they walked in the door, and route all the phone calls that came in.
When I wasn't on the phone, I also had some light office work that I was supposed to keep up on. Some days I was so busy answering all of the phone calls that I didn't have time to get anything else done.