What Is Microsoft Business Voice?
As with its predecessor, Skype for Business, where calls to other Skype users were free, calls between Teams users are free too. This means, so long as you only make internal calls and don't make calls with your customers or clients, you won’t have to pay for Microsoft Teams.
But, if you want to make and receive external calls, Teams must connect to the PSTN. That means connection charges and call costs and Teams requires some bolt-on packages before it will work.
Microsoft Business Voice is a bundle license that combines Microsoft Phone System, Audio Conferencing and a calling plan. Until recently, the Business Voice bundle was only available to Microsoft 365 Business licenses. Now, Microsoft Business Voice is available to those with Office 365 and Microsoft 365 Enterprise licenses. As a result, it’s simpler to turn Microsoft Teams into a phone system.
The Microsoft Phone System package allows you to make phone calls to external numbers with Teams. It also comes with some features that let you build a basic caller experience for your customers. That means features like auto attendants, call queues and call forwarding.
The Audio Conferencing package allows you to conduct conference calls through Teams. You’ll need a calling plan to lease domestic or international minutes to your users so you can make outbound calls.
Can Microsoft 365 Business Voice Be Purchased Without a Calling Plan?
You can now buy Business Voice without a calling plan from a Microsoft reseller or partner. This is another recent change, introduced with Microsoft’s latest 2021 updates to their Teams-related products and licenses.
Using Teams to make and receive business calls with a calling plan from a third party requires Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams. You can still buy the Business Voice package with an included calling plan if you buy from Microsoft.
As per Microsoft’s documentation, Microsoft 365 Business Voice is now available with the following licenses:
- Microsoft 365 Business Basic
- Microsoft 365 Business Standard
- Microsoft 365 Business Premium
- Microsoft 365 F1
- Microsoft 365 F3
- Office 365 F3
- Microsoft and Office 365 Enterprise E1 or E3
- Microsoft 365 and Office 365 Education A1 or A3
- Microsoft 365 and Office 365 Government G1 or G3
- Microsoft 365 Nonprofit Business Basic
- Microsoft 365 Nonprofit Business Standard
- Microsoft 365 and Office 365 Nonprofit E1 or E3
Microsoft Teams Calling Plans
The domestic calling plan included with Microsoft Business Voice offers 1200 minutes per month in the UK. In the US and Canada, you'll get 3000 domestic minutes per month. For an extra charge, you can opt for an international calling plan to pay for a certain number of international minutes upfront.
Or, you can pay for international call charges on a pay-as-you-go basis with Microsoft’s Communications Credits. These act as call credit on your account and are used on an ad-hoc basis.
1200 minutes for domestic calls isn’t a lot, and any team making a lot of outbound calls will find itself tearing through these minutes in no time. This leaves Teams users that need more minutes having to resort to pay-as-you-go credit - not a cost-effective option.
Such businesses would be better off using an unlimited calling plan from a third-party provider and using their service in conjunction with Microsoft Teams.
Third-Party Calling Plans
If you license Microsoft Business Voice through a Microsoft partner or reseller, you’ll have the option of purchasing without one of Microsoft’s calling plans. This lets you use a calling plan from one of these partners or resellers, who must offer a Teams Direct Routing service to integrate with Teams.
Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams
Since you need a calling plan for a working phone system, you'll need to buy a calling plan from a third-party provider if you want to buy Business Voice without a calling plan.
This requires you configure Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams, which allows Microsoft Phone System, your on-premises telephone hardware and your chosen third-party provider to work together to form a single, operational phone system.
Yay.com is offering more cost-effective calling plans and more powerful phone system features than Microsoft’s own through our Direct Routing Integration. If you’re enjoying the Microsoft Teams experience but need a cost-effective calling plan with unlimited calls to the UK and 54 other countries, sign up with Yay.com now and call from anywhere on any device.