What Microsoft licensing is required to get calling in Teams?

Microsoft licensing – what is needed when using Call2Teams to bring calling to Teams.

Microsoft Teams is free, included with every Microsoft 365 License. Yet to use Teams for calling to external numbers, via a PSTN breakout, further licensing is needed. The level of additional licensing depends on requirements and is a question that is often asked when using Call2Teams to voice-enable Microsoft Teams. In this how-to article, we look at Microsoft licensing and what is needed when using Call2Teams to bring calling to Teams.

Microsoft Licensing explained

Office 365 is the go-to for business, providing a suite of programs and online apps geared towards collaboration. Provided as part of a Microsoft 365 subscription, Office 365 provides access to desktop software, as well as Microsoft’s online services, like OneDrive and SharePoint.

Microsoft 365 is an umbrella subscription that includes Office365. With Microsoft 365, businesses can also use Microsoft’s integrated cloud services to replace their current network infrastructure.

Microsoft 365 comes with licensing for Business, Enterprise, Personal, and Education. Businesses have two options when it comes to Microsoft 365 licensing: Business and Enterprise.

Microsoft 365 Business

The Microsoft 365 Business license is for companies of less than 300 employees. There are three price tiers for Microsoft 365: Business Basic, Business Standard, and Business Premium. With each tier providing different feature and service levels,

Microsoft 365 Enterprise

The Microsoft Enterprise license, for larger companies, delivers more features and services and comes in at a higher price point than Microsoft 365 Business, with three plan levels known as E1, E3, and E5.


Calling in Microsoft Teams

With Microsoft 365 Business and Enterprise companies can make calls internally, collaborate with video calls, messaging, and file sharing. What they cannot do is make and receive calls externally.

To use Microsoft Teams as a business phone system additional licensing is needed.

For Microsoft 365 Business Microsoft provides three licenses as a bundle, called Microsoft Business Voice, this provides an add-on license for Microsoft Teams Phone, Audio Conferencing, and a calling plan. For Microsoft 365 Enterprise E1 or E3, these need to be purchased separately. For Microsoft 365 Enterprise E5 they are included.

Teams Phone licensing

The add-on of a Phone System license (soon to change its name to Teams Phone) will activate a dial pad, allowing the user to receive and transfer calls.

Calling plan

To make outbound calls using the Teams dial pad then businesses either need to have in place a Microsoft Calling plan, purchasing numbers, and minutes from Microsoft or have implemented Direct Routing. Further information on this is below.

Audio conferencing

This add-on expands Teams meeting functionality. It allows the user to set up a dial-in number or conference ID for meetings. As well as configuring meeting options like lobby settings.


Teams Direct Routing

Moving wholly over to the Microsoft eco-system and using Microsoft Phone System and calling plans is one way. Another is Direct Routing.

Direct Routing allows companies to add business phone technology to their Teams environment. Allowing for businesses to use Teams with their existing phone provider, avoiding rip and replace

There is no need to purchase a Microsoft calling plan when utilizing the Direct Routing feature. As the phone service provider delivers the minutes and numbers needed. There is though still a need to purchase Teams Phone licensing.

Those with Microsoft 365 Enterprise licensing with level E1 or E3 will need to purchase a Teams Phone license. Those that hold E5 already have Teams Phone licensing included. For Microsoft Business 365 it is possible to contact Microsoft to purchase Microsoft Business Voice without a call plan.

Microsoft Licensing when using Call2Teams

Call2Teams is a middleware solution that seamlessly connects your existing phone service or PBX to Microsoft Teams. Call2Teams uses the Teams Direct Routing feature. To enable the dial pad in Teams when using Call2Teams users will either need a Teams Phone license or Call2Teams Go.

The Call2Teams middleware solution allows customers to retain negotiated calling plans and minutes. It also means feature-rich telephony, which may not be supported in Teams, can be retained. Find a partner

For channel partners, Call2Teams offers an out-of-the-box, go-to-market solution. Making it easy for providers to grow and retain customers through voice-enabling Teams.