Teams Phone System guidance for small and medium businesses

Note

Microsoft 365 Business Voice was Microsoft’s telephony service bundle for small and medium businesses, which included Private Branch Exchange (PBX) capabilities, a domestic calling plan, and Audio Conferencing. However, Business Voice will be deprecated on March 1, 2022.

For PBX capabilities and PSTN connectivity for small and medium businesses, we recommend the Teams Phone with Calling Plan bundle license, if it’s available in your geographic area. If the Teams Phone with Calling Plan bundle license is not available in your region, see Plan your Teams voice solution to learn about other voice solutions.

Unlike Business Voice, Teams Phone with Calling Plan bundle licenses don't include Teams Audio Conferencing capabilities. Audio Conferencing is now free to Microsoft 365 subscribers. To learn about Audio Conferencing, see Audio Conferencing in Microsoft 365.

The Microsoft Teams Phone System with Calling Plan bundle is Microsoft’s all-in-the-cloud solution that makes it easy for organizations to turn Teams into a powerful and flexible telephone system. The Phone System with Calling Plan bundle provides Private Branch Exchange (PBX) capabilities and calls to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN).

You can set up both toll and toll-free numbers, call menus to help callers get to the right department, call queues for high-traffic phone numbers, and more. You can even give people their own phone numbers so they can receive calls directly.

This article provides guidance to small and medium businesses on getting started with Teams Phone System with Calling Plan bundle.

Important

Microsoft Teams and Phone System only work when your users' mailboxes are located in Microsoft 365 (excluding Microsoft 365 Teams Essentials subscribers). They don't support mailboxes located on on-premises Exchange Server.

Guidance articles for small and medium businesses

These articles will help your business plan, set up, and manage the Phone System with Calling Plan bundle.

Article Description
Check country and region availability See if Phone System and Calling Plans are available in your country and region
Check your internet connection Determine if your internet connection is sufficient for the Phone System with Calling Plan bundle
Get help from a reseller or partner See how a Microsoft reseller or partner can help you find the right voice solution if the Phone System with Calling Plan bundle is not available in your region
Set up the Phone System with Calling Plan bundle Follow this step-by-step guide for a basic set up of Phone System with Calling Plan
Customize your Phone System with Calling Plan setup Learn how to customize the Phone System with Calling Plan bundle for your unique needs
Manage your Phone System setup Learn how to manage Phone System with Calling Plan bundle users, devices, and call quality
Partner resources For Microsoft 365 partners, see how you can build a strong managed-services practice for the Phone System with Calling Plan bundle

Purchase Teams Phone with Calling Plan bundle licenses

There are several Teams Phone licenses Microsoft 365 subscribers can choose from. For small and medium businesses, we suggest Teams Phone with Calling Plan bundle licenses. This license includes Phone System with Calling Plan bundled capabilities. These capabilities include Phone System for PBX capabilities like call queues and auto attendants, and a Microsoft Domestic Calling Plan.

You can also purchase an extra International Calling Plan if you want to make calls to other countries or regions. Use Communications Credits to pay per minute for an International call, extra minutes per month for your Domestic Calling Plan, and toll-free numbers. You'll learn more about Calling Plans and Communications Credits later in this article.

You can buy Teams Phone with Calling Plan bundle licenses from Microsoft, set up Phone System with Calling Plan on your own, and then set up or transfer your existing phone numbers to Microsoft. The article Set up Phone System with Calling Plan for small and medium businesses shows you how to set up Phone System with Calling Plan for your business.

To buy Teams Phone with Calling Plan bundle licenses:

  1. Sign in to the admin center.
  2. Go to Billing > Purchase services.
  3. Under Purchase from Microsoft, select View Products.
  4. Select the Add-ons category filter to view all available add-on licenses.
  5. Find the Teams Phone with Calling Plan add on and select Details to go to the product page.
  6. Select the Buy button to choose the number of licenses you need and to complete the purchasing process. If you run out of licenses, you can purchase more later.

Who in my organization needs to be assigned Teams Phone with Calling Plan bundle licenses?

Microsoft 365 plans include VoIP calling, which allows them to make peer-to-peer VoIP calls within your organization.

Users who don't need to make or receive phone calls to or from external phone numbers on the PSTN just need Teams.

For example, you might have ten factory employees and five office employees. The factory employees may only need to call other employees within your company. In addition to calling other employees, office workers need to make and receive phone calls to and from suppliers, partners, and customers. In this case, only the five office workers need a Teams Phone with Calling Plan bundle license.

Microsoft Teams Calling Plans

The Phone System with Calling Plan bundle includes a Domestic Calling Plan so users can make and receive calls from PSTN phone numbers. Microsoft Teams Calling Plans use a monthly pool of minutes. The monthly pool is based on the number of assigned Teams Phone with Calling Plan licenses in each country or region. When a user makes a phone call, the number of minutes used for that call is deducted from the monthly pool. At the beginning of each month, the balance of minutes in the pool is reset.

Calling plan pools are specific to the country or region in which the users are located and the type of calling plan (Domestic or Domestic and International). Users in a country or region can only use minutes from the calling plan pool in their country or region. Minutes in a calling plan pool in one country or region can't be transferred to a pool in another country or region.

What happens when all the minutes in a calling plan pool are used up depends on if you have Communications Credits available or not. If you have Communications Credits available, Teams Phone will start using them. If you don't have credits available, users won't be able to make phone calls outside your organization until the calling plan pool is reset at the beginning of the next month. For more information on Communication Credits, read the Communication Credits section in this article.

Important

The number of minutes in a pool depends on the country or region and the number of Teams Phone with Calling Plan bundle licenses that are assigned to your users, not the number of licenses that you purchased. For example, if you purchased ten Teams Phone with Calling Plan bundle licenses in Canada but are only using three licenses, you'll have a total of 9,000 minutes in your pool (3 licenses multiplied by 3,000 minutes per user).

There are two types of Teams Calling Plans:

  • Domestic Calling Plan

    The Domestic Calling Plan lets users call phone numbers in their country or region. The Phone System with Calling Plan bundle includes a Domestic Calling Plan for each user who's assigned a Teams Phone with Calling Plan license. The number of minutes available for each user each month depends on the country or region the user is located.

    Calls between the United States and Canada are considered domestic calls. You don't need to add the Domestic and International Calling Plan to place calls between these two countries.

  • Domestic and International Calling Plan

    The Domestic and International Calling Plan lets users also call phone numbers outside their country or region. The International Calling Plan is purchased as an add on to the Teams Phone with Calling Plan license.

    When you consider whether to buy the Domestic and International Calling Plan for a user, determine how often they make international calls and how long the calls are. This information is important because when you purchase a Domestic and International Calling Plan, you pay for a certain number of minutes up front. If a user doesn't use up all the minutes in a month, the remaining minutes are discarded at the beginning of the next month. If it's likely that a user won't use up all the minutes in the Domestic and International Calling Plan, don't buy one. Instead use Communications Credits.

Communications Credits

Communications Credits are like a digital wallet that's used to pay for calls to or from phone numbers outside your organization's phone system. Communications Credits are used in a few situations.

  • The calling plan's monthly minute pool has run out of minutes: If a user makes or receives a PSTN call when the calling plan's minute pool is empty, Teams Phone automatically starts using your Communications Credits.
  • A user who doesn't have a Domestic and International Calling Plan makes international calls: Teams Phone automatically starts using your Communications Credits balance.
  • You have toll-free numbers: When someone calls your toll-free number, the cost of the call is deducted from your Communications Credit balance.

If you still have Communication Credits left over at the end of the month, they're carried over to the next month.

To learn more about Communication Credits, read What are Communications Credits?