Tom Talks Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 news and opinions

Microsoft Teams adds Pay-As-You-Go PSTN Calling Plan

A big change in how Microsoft offers user PSTN calling plans for Microsoft Teams, Microsoft has added a Pay-As-You-Go Calling Plan

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https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/calling-plans-for-office-365

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.

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.

PAYG licenses aren’t currently available for sale in the United States and Puerto Rico, but they can be provisioned to US and Puerto Rico users if bought in other countries. This is due to the complexities of US tax and consumption billing I believe. So if your tenant billing address in US, you can’t buy PAYG calling plans for any country.

Zone 1 is USA*, Canada, and the UK.

Zone 2 is Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

With the standard Microsoft calling plans, you can order and hold 1.1 times the number of phone numbers to licenses. 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?

Microsoft shares their per minute charging costs publicly here, towards the bottom of the page. You can download the full list.

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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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About the author

Tom Arbuthnot

A Microsoft MVP and Microsoft Certified Master, Tom Arbuthnot is Founder and Principal at Empowering.Cloud as well as a Solutions Director at Pure IP.

Tom stays up to date with industry developments and shares news and his opinions on his Tomtalks.blog, UC Today Microsoft Teams Podcast and email list. He is a regular speaker at events around the world.

  • Hi Tom, I can see the Calling Plans available for purchase in our Tenant. (Standard Tenant, Switzerland, Nothing Special, No early access)

    Microsoft Teams Calling Plan pay-as-you-go (country zone 1) (CHF 1.97 per Month)
    Microsoft Teams Calling Plan pay-as-you-go (country zone 2) (CHF 3.00 per Month)

    Any idea what the Zones are? :)

  • Hi Tom, What is the difference between communication credits offered earlier, and PAYG plans (which now has a per user fee as well)?

    • Hi

      Comms credits is the “wallet” or mechanism to charge per minute. Previously it was used to charge per minute for toll-free numbers and overages beyond your including calling plan minutes.

      Now the PAYG plan also uses comms credits as the “wallet”/payment mechanism,

      Hope that helps clarify.

  • Hi Tom,
    I’m trying to figure out what happens if a company ports it’s full range of phonenumbers to MSFT but only uses 80% of their numberblock.. Are the unused phonenumbers handed out to other companies? Is there a change different users in the same company are getting phonenumbers of different ranges? (for example the +11234567XX and +17654321XX range)

    • Hi Philip,

      All numbers you port in remain aligned to your account. They are not available to anyone else. Microsoft will hold the numbers for your use. They don’t charge a fee for holding unused numbers you port in.

  • Hi Tom,
    something is not clear to me about the licensing. Let’s suppose that, in the same EU region, we have
    1 user with Microsoft Teams Calling Plan pay-as-you-go
    1 user with Microsoft Teams Domestic and International Calling Plan (1200 Domestic or 600 International)
    1 user with Microsoft Teams Domestic Calling Plan (120 min)

    Are these licenses all pooled together? So all users can benefit from the whole pool coming from the second and third licenses (included the PayG user)?

    From this post it seems so: https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/msteams/forum/all/microsoft-365-phone-system-calling-plan-pools/a7f9920a-62f2-4179-8e8c-a5fc68b65983

    Thanks a lot
    Mirko

    • No, they are not. The pooling is per licence type, per country. So in you scenario that is 3 different licence types (and also possibly different countries since it goes to the country level, not the region level).

      Hope that helps

      Tom

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