What is Microsoft Teams calling?

Nathan Hill-Haimes


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    Microsoft Teams Calling is a new way for teams to make and receive business calls more efficiently. With options like voice and video calling, it's easier than ever to make sure everyone has the information they need quickly and seamlessly.

    While Microsoft Teams is mainly known and used as an internal communication tool, Microsoft developed Teams Calling as a way to leverage the extensive capabilities of Teams as part of a business phone system.

    What is Microsoft Teams calling?

    With chat, meetings, voice, and Private Branch Exchange (PBX) capabilities now combined into one inexpensive package, users can now have a true unified communications solution allowing them to make and receive calls for an affordable price. It's no wonder that this software is so popular among businesses around the world!

    Microsoft Teams Calling allows you to make and receive inbound and outbound calls using voice and PBX facilities. At the same time, you can combine chat, meetings, and more, for a fully unified business communications solution.

    Previously, employees mostly used Teams to call other employees within their business or organisation. Now with the addition of Teams Calling and cloud-based phone systems, you can make business calls from your work number—wherever you are!

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    How much do calls cost?

    To get Microsoft Teams Calling, you will first need to have a Phones licence. You can choose from the licence types, depending on the number of users. Two of the most popular plans are Business Voice and E5 Enterprise.

    Option One: Microsoft 365 Business Voice

    Cost: £9.00 user/month (annual commitment), excludes VAT. Available for 300 users or less


    • Cloud-based telephone system with call transfer, call queues, and multilevel auto attendants features.
    • A calling plan with 1,200 domestic minutes per user, per month, within the UK.
    • Dial-in audio conferencing for maximum 250 people per meeting.
    • Make and receive calls via the Microsoft Teams app on the desktop, mobile, web, or desk phones.

    A Business Voice calling Plan is an add-on subscription to your existing Microsoft 365 subscription, including Microsoft Teams. It is not available as a stand-alone package.

    Option Two: Enterprise E5

    £48.10 user/month (annual commitment), excluding VAT. Only available for 300 or more users.


    • A phone system that enables PBX capabilities like call control in the cloud with Microsoft Teams.
    • Audio conferencing allows you to initiate or join meetings of up to 300 people - straight from your phone.
    • Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise, Windows 10 Enterprise, Office for the web, Office mobile apps, Outlook, Exchange, and many more.

    Enterprise is the top-level stand-alone package that includes Microsoft 365 productivity apps, advanced security, compliance, and analytical capabilities.

    While Business Voice includes a domestic calling plan, you'll need to add a calling plan to Enterprise to make calls.


    What is Microsoft Teams calling?


    Can I get a call bundle?

    You can purchase a calling plan, including a phone number and a bundle of minutes per user, per month. There are four different plans available.

    If you only need to make domestic calls, there are three options;

    1. Plan one: the 120-minute Domestic Calling Plan. Plan one provides 120 minutes of UK calls per user per month.
    2. Plan two: the 240-minute Domestic Calling Plan. Plan two provides 240 minutes of UK calls per user per month.
    3. Plan three: 1200 minute Domestic Calling Plan. Plan three provides 120 minutes of UK calls per user per month. If you have a Business Voice licence, this calling plan is included.

    If you need to make international calls, you can opt for Plan four, the Domestic and International Calling Plan. Plan four provides 1200 minutes of domestic calls OR 600 minutes of international calling (based on whichever is reached first in the calendar month).

    Of course, you may need to use more minutes than your calling plan provides for, so what happens when you reach the limit?

    Microsoft offers Communications Credits. If these are enabled, you can pay per minute for any additional minutes used. Communications Credits are paid in advance rather than being billed after usage.

    Communications Credits work as a pre-paid fund, and the applicable call rates are deducted from that fund when your users make calls. The costs vary depending on the country you are calling and the currency.

    If you run out of minutes without Communications Credits enabled, your users won't be able to make any further calls that month.

    Will I need to add a credit card?

    Yes, if you want to enable Communications Credits, you will need to add a credit card.

    You can do this by signing in to the Microsoft 365 admin centre, and navigating to Billing > Purchase Services. Select Add-Ons, and then Communication Credits.

    You can now add your credit card information and add funds.

      1. Enter the amount that you wish to add. Calls will be billed to your card immediately after you complete setting it up.
      2. Choose if you want to auto-recharge. Recharge will automatically re-bill your card for the auto-recharge amount you choose when the initial amount reaches a certain threshold. If you don't choose to auto-recharge and run out of Communication Credits, your users will not be able to make calls until your calling plan enters a new month or you add more Communication Credits.
      3. Choose the auto-recharge amount and trigger, if applicable. If the amount in your account falls below the trigger, auto-recharge will be applied.

    Any funds you add are available for 12 months and need to be used in that period.

    Now you know the main details of Microsoft Teams Calling. You also know that having a unified communications solution can help teams work together better and be more productive.

    Microsoft Teams Calling offers everything you need in one place – video calling (including screen sharing), voice calling, instant messaging, and meetings – so that you can easily connect with your team wherever they are or whatever device they're using. And the calling plans make it easy for businesses to get started quickly without sacrificing quality or features. It's time to say goodbye to complicated communication tools!

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