Teams Phone 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) features, a domestic calling plan, and Audio Conferencing. However, Business Voice will be deprecated on March 1, 2022.

For PBX features and PSTN connectivity for small and medium businesses, we recommend the Teams Phone with Calling Plan bundle, if it’s available in your geographic area. If the Teams Phone with Calling Plan bundle 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 doesn’t include Audio Conferencing capabilities. Audio Conferencing is now included in Microsoft 365 bundles. To learn about setting up Audio Conferencing for a small or medium business, see Set up Audio Conferencing for small and medium businesses.

The Microsoft Teams Phone with Calling Plan bundle is Microsoft’s all-in-the-cloud solution that makes it easy for small and medium organizations (300 or fewer people) to turn Microsoft Teams into a powerful and flexible telephone system. The Teams Phone with Calling Plan bundle provides Private Branch Exchange (PBX) functionality 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 covers the Teams Phone with Calling Plan bundle for small and medium businesses.

Important

Microsoft Teams and Teams Phone with Calling Plan 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 your Teams Phone with Calling Plan bundle telephony solution.

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

Teams Phone with Calling Plan bundle license

There are two types of Teams Phone licenses: The Teams phone with Calling Plan bundle license and Teams Phone as a standalone license (without Calling Plan). For small and medium businesses, we suggest the Teams Phone with Calling Plans bundle.

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

Read Teams Phone with Calling Plan bundle later in this article for more information about buying the Teams Phone with Calling Plan bundle.

To see whether your country or region supports the Teams Phone with Calling Plan bundle, check out Country and region availability for Calling Plans.

What do I need to buy to get voice capabilities for my small or medium business?

To make or receive phone calls to or from external phone numbers, users need PBX features and PSTN connectivity. For small and medium businesses, we recommend the Teams Phone with Calling Plan bundle because it provides PBX features and PSTN connectivity to users assigned a license.

Users who don't need to make or receive phone calls to or from external phone numbers just need Teams. They don't need a Teams Phone with Calling Plan license.

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.

Teams Phone with Calling Plan bundle

The Teams Phone with Calling Plan bundle includes a Domestic Calling Plan, which gives you some minutes per month to make calls within your country or region. 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 a Domestic Calling Plan, and toll-free numbers. You'll learn more about Calling Plans and Communications Credits later in this article.

To buy Teams Phone with Calling Plan bundle licenses, sign in to the admin center, and then go to Billing > Purchase services.

Types of Microsoft Calling Plans

Calling Plans let your users call phone numbers that are outside your organization. Calling Plans include a monthly pool of minutes that's based on the number of assigned Teams Phone with Calling Plan bundle 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 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 10 Teams Phone 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 Calling Plans:

  • Domestic Calling Plan

    The Domestic Calling Plan lets users call phone numbers in their country or region. The Teams Phone with Calling Plan bundle includes a Domestic Calling Plan for each user who's assigned a 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 International Calling Plan to place calls between these two countries.

  • International Calling Plan

    The International Calling Plan lets users call phone numbers outside their country or region. The International Calling Plan is purchased as an add-on for Teams Phone with Calling Plan bundle.

    When you consider whether to buy the 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 an 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 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.

  • A user has run out of minutes in their Domestic or International Calling Plan: If a user doesn't have an International Calling Plan, Teams Phone automatically starts using your Communications Credits balance.
  • A user who doesn't have an 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?