Set up the Common Area Phone license for Microsoft Teams


Common area phones do not support voicemail.

A common area phone is typically placed in an area like a lobby or another area that is available to many people to make a call; for example, a reception area, lobby, or conference phone. Common area phones are signed in with accounts tied to a Common Area Phone license. The TeamsIPPhone policy must also be appropriately set for the phone to have a common area user experience.

In the steps below, we'll help you set up an account for Phone System to deploy common area phones for your organization. For a more complete meeting room experience, including audio conferencing, consider purchasing the dedicated Meeting Room license with a meeting room device.

First, you need to purchase a Common Area Phone (CAP) license and make sure that you have a certified phone. To search for and learn more about certified phones, go to Microsoft Teams devices.

Step 1 - Buy the licenses

  1. In the Microsoft 365 admin center, go to Billing > Purchase services and then expand Other plans.

    Screenshot showing the Common Area Phone tile.

  2. Select Common Area Phone > Buy now.

  3. On the Checkout page, click Buy now.

  4. Expand Add-on subscriptions and then click to buy a Calling Plan. Choose either the Domestic Calling Plan or Domestic and International Calling Plan.


If you are using Microsoft Phone System Direct Routing, you do not need a Calling Plan license.


You don't need to add a Phone System license. It's included with the Common Area Phone license.

For more information on licenses, see Microsoft Teams add-on licensing.

The Common Area Phone license supports:

  Common Area Phone
Skype for Business
Microsoft Teams
Phone System
Audio Conferencing ✘ ¹
Microsoft Intune
Worldwide Availability ✘ ²
Channel Availability EA, EAS, CSP, GCC, EES, Web Direct

¹ Common Area Phones can join audio conferences via dial-in number provided by the meeting organizer

² Not available in sovereign clouds

Step 2 - Create a new user account for the phone and assign the licenses

  1. In the Microsoft 365 admin center, go to users > active users > add a user.

  2. Enter a user name like "Main" for the first name and "Reception" for the second name.

  3. Enter a display name if it doesn't autogenerate one like "Main Reception."

  4. Enter a user name like "MainReception" or "Mainlobby."

  5. For common area phones, you might want to set a password manually or have the same password for all your common area phones. Also, you might think about clearing the Make this user change their password when they first sign in check box.

  6. Assign the licenses to the user. On the same page, click to expand Product licenses. Turn on the Common Area Phone and pick either a Domestic Calling Plan or a Domestic and International Calling Plan.

    Screenshot showing license assignment with domestic calling plan and domestic and international plan options highlighted.


If you are using Microsoft Phone System Direct Routing, you do not need to assign a Calling Plan license.

For more information, see Assign licenses to users.

Step 3 - Assign a phone number to the Common Area Phone user account

Use the Teams admin center to assign a number to the user.

  1. In the Teams admin center, select Voice > Phone numbers.

  2. Select a number from the list of phone numbers and click Assign.

  3. On the Assign page, in the Voice user box, type the name of the user who will be using the phone, and then select the user in the Select a voice user drop-down list.

  4. Next, you need to add an emergency address. Choose Search by city, Search by description, or Search by location from the drop-down list, and then enter the city, description, or location in the text box. Once you search, look under Select emergency address to pick the right one for you.

  5. Click Save and your user should look like this:

    Screenshot shows sample user license assignment.


Users will only show up if they have a Phone System license applied. If you just did this, then sometimes it takes a bit for the user to show up in the list.

For more information, see Getting phone numbers for your users.

You can also take your phone number that you have with another carrier and "port" or transfer it over to Microsoft 365 or Office 365. See Transfer phone numbers to Teams.