With the recent rise in employees working from home, we’ve received many questions from our clients about adding Audio Conferencing functionality to Microsoft Teams Meetings. While Teams can be used as a meeting platform on various Voice over IP devices with many Microsoft 365 Plans (i.e. F1, E1 and E3), the ability to provide a conference bridge phone number for dialing in and out of the meeting via telephone is not always included.
“Audio Conferencing in Office 365 lets users call in to meetings from their phones. Audio Conferencing allows up to 250 phone attendees.” Audio Conferencing also allows the bridge to call out to a desk phone or cell phone.
Audio Conferencing is included in Office 365 E5, Microsoft 365 E5 and Microsoft 365 Business Voice or as a $4 addon to the following plans:
- Office 365 E1
- Office 365 E3
- Microsoft 365 F3
- Microsoft 365 E1
- Microsoft 365 E3
Let’s dig in a bit further:
- Users with a license that includes Teams but not assigned Audio Conferencing can sign into Teams and use it for IM, Collaboration and PC or Web-based meetings.
- Users that are Scheduling the meeting and need a phone number need the AC License. Not necessarily every employee needs this.
- Once the meeting is scheduled and sent, anyone can call into the meeting, even HZCU users that don’t have the addon.
- In-Bound call minutes are not tracked.
- Outbound minutes are pooled – you get 60 outbound minutes per activated license of AC per month. So if you buy 25 seats of AC and assign all 25, you’ll have 1500 shared minutes per month for people to dial out.
- Dialing out means the bridge calls you. So when you login you can have the bridge call you on your desk or cell phone.
- Once you hit the limit you are stopped from making outbound calls until the next month or you can add communication credits.
- Communication credits are 1.3 cents per minute and you need to pre-pay in the tenant on a credit card. The minimum you can buy is $20 and you can set the account to auto recharge.
Or, you can simply disable outbound calling on a per user basis and force them to call in.
One final note, if you want to assign a Toll-Free number to your conference bridge you can either request a toll-free service number from Microsoft in the Teams Admin Center or port one you already use. Calls to Toll-Free numbers will be charged by the minute and therefore require communication credits to be setup in advance.
For more information on Microsoft 365 Audio Conferencing, please reference these links on Microsoft Docs: