A big change in how Microsoft offers user PSTN calling plans for Microsoft Teams, Microsoft has added a Pay-As-You-Go Calling Plan
From the Microsoft Documentation:
- “Pay-As-You-Go Calling Plan: Licensed users can call out to numbers located in the country/region where their Microsoft 365 license is assigned to the user based on the user’s location, and to international numbers in 196 countries/regions. Unlimited incoming minutes are included. No outgoing minutes are included. All outgoing calls are charged based on the minutes used, either with Communication Credits or Post Pay billing.”
Communications credits are Microsoft’s name for a pre-loaded “wallet” of money available to use against per-minute telephony costs. Communications credits can be set to auto re-charge, i.e. keep topping up automatically. Having Post Pay billing is a new type of billing for Microsoft PSTN that I don’t think we have seen before.
Previous to this Microsoft only offered Domestic and International calling plans that included an allocation of minutes per user, so a number and bundle of minutes. These bundles were combined for all users on the same plan type, in the same country, into a total pot all those users could use. When the group of users went beyond that bucket of minutes, they would then pay per minute. The smallest user plan you could get was 120 minutes per user per month. This is way beyond what most users use on average. In the US, the standard Domestic calling plan is $8.00 per user per month, and the standard Domestic and International calling plan is $24 per user per month. You could also buy a domestic plan and pay for international calls on a pay-per-minute basis through communication credits.
Microsoft currently offers calling plans for the following countries:
- Czech Republic
- New Zealand
- Puerto Rico
- South Korea
- United Kingdom (U.K.)
- United States (U.S.) & Puerto Rico
Australia is also offered via a Telstra partnership.
My understanding is that Pay-As-You-Go Calling Plans will not be available to US or Puerto Rico tenants. Microsoft says this is due to the complex tax calculations you have to do in the US for Pay Per minute calling. They will be available to all other countries above.
What do Microsoft Pay-As-You-Go Calling Plans cost?
In addition to the outbound minutes cost on a PAYG basis, there will be a per user per month cost:
The product names and SKUs are:
- Microsoft Teams Calling Plan (Zone-1 Countries) MCOPSTN_PAYG_1 – $2 PUPM
- Microsoft Teams Calling Plan (Zone-2 Countries) MCOPSTN_PAYG_2 – $3 PUPM
That’s £1.51 and £2.30 respectively on UK tenant pricing.
Zone 1 is Canada and the UK.
Zone 2 is all other countries on the calling plan country list above apart from the USA.
Pay-As-You-Go Calling Plans will not be available to US or Puerto Rico tenants. Microsoft says this is due to the complex tax calculations you have to do in the US for Pay Per minute calling. Curiously a multinational customer not based US/Puerto Rico may purchase a Teams Calling Plan Pay-As-You-Go Zone 1 and assign end users who reside in the US or Puerto Rico. As the tax implications are different, I believe.
With the standard Microsoft calling plans, you can order and hold 1.1 times the number of phone numbers to licences. So you can have some buffer room in the same range. For example, if you have 50 users in total with a Domestic Calling Plan and/or International Calling Plan, you can acquire 65 phone numbers (50 x 1.1 + 10). With Pay-As-You-Go Calling Plan, you can only acquire 1 phone number per license assigned.
What are the Microsoft Pay-As-You-Go PSTN Calling Plan rates?
Will Microsoft Pay-As-You-Go PSTN Calling Plans be available from Microsoft (CSP) Partners?
I’m not clear on that yet; I have asked. Microsoft does now have a mechanism to allow pay-as-you-go telco via Cloud Solution Provider (CSPs). This was introduced initially to deal with the fact that when customers bought calling plans if they wanted to run over their allocated minutes, they would need communication credits, which originally could not be purchased via partners.
Currently, there is no discount or margin for partners on minute overages. I would expect the same for Pay-As-You-Go PSTN calling plans but have not confirmed this yet.
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