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What is the Microsoft “Phone System” License

In order for Teams to dial or receive calls from cell phones and land lines, Microsoft requires each user to have the Microsoft “Phone System” License. The following describes the associated phone system license that is needed for each user.  Note that a Microsoft Tenant can have a mixture of users, some having Microsoft Business and others having Enterprise (E1, E3, or E5) and/or Education (A1, A3 and A5) licenses. Please refer to the correct section below for the specific user that you want to provide calling features to.

Microsoft 365 Business Basic, Standard and Premium Users

Users of the Microsoft 365 Business product line need to have an “add-on” license that is known as Microsoft 365 Business Voice (without Calling Plan).  This license can be obtained from your reseller or Microsoft.  As a Microsoft reseller, we can also obtain licenses for you.  Please contact support for more information.  To learn more, see the section entitled “Microsoft 365 Business Voice without a Calling Plan (Direct Routing)” in this article: Microsoft Teams Add-on Licensing

YOU DO NOT NEED ANY OF THE MICROSOFT CALLING PLAN(S).  VOICE ELEMENTS REPLACES THE NEED FOR THE MICROSOFT CALLING PLAN(S).

This screen shot from admin.microsoft.com shows a user with the correct licenses for Microsoft Business.  Take note that this applies to Business Basic, Standard and Premium Users

Microsoft 365 Enterprise (E1, E3 or E5) and/or Education Users

Note that for this section the terms E1, E3 and E5 also equate to then equivalent Education licenses such as A1, A3, or A5.

Users of the Microsoft 365 Business product line need to have an “add-on” license that is known as Microsoft 365 Phone System.  This license can be obtained from your reseller or Microsoft.  As a Microsoft reseller, we can also obtain licenses for you.  Please contact support for more information.

YOU DO NOT NEED ANY OF THE MICROSOFT CALLING PLAN(S).  VOICE ELEMENTS REPLACES THE NEED FOR THE MICROSOFT CALLING PLAN(S).

For users that have an E5 license, the “Phone System” license is included and is not required to be purchased separately.  However, if you have just the E1 or E3 license you must purchase the Add-On Phone System license.  Note that the admin center wont allow you to add-on the “Phone System” license until you have first assigned the E1 or E3 license to a user.

This screen shot from admin.microsoft.com shows three different licenses that will work properly with Voice Elements.  Take particular note that the E5 license does not require the Phone System Add-On. Also note that your screen might say “Microsoft 365 E1, E3 or E5”.  They are the same.

Useful Resources for Further Reading

Phone System is a hosted telephone service that gives you call control and Private Branch Exchange (PBX) capabilities, with options for connecting to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). Phone System features include cloud voicemail, caller ID, call park, call forwarding, auto attendants, call queues, call transfer, caller ID, and more.

To learn more, see Here’s what you get with Phone System. For pricing info, see Pricing for Phone System.

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Microsoft Teams Add-On Licensing

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