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Route your own PSTN carrier numbers to Microsoft Cloud Auto Attendant and Call Queues

A big update in functionality, you can now route/assign your own PSTN Carrier numbers to Cloud Auto Attendant and Call Queues. Previously you would need to assign new service numbers from Microsoft or port your numbers into Microsoft as service numbers on their cloud service.

Direct Routing can be used to assign a PSTN number via SBC to Auto Attendant and Call Queues (as of today Direct Routing with AA/CQ support Teams users only). In public preview, you can assign OPCH and CCE number to Cloud Auto Attendant and Call Queues.

This update involved moving to a new CQ and AA model where each call queue or auto attendant is required to have an associated resource account. A resource account is also known as a disabled user object in Azure Active Directory and can be used to represent resources in general. Right now, routing your own numbers means you have an Enterprise E1 or E3 licenses and Phone System license assigned to the resource account.

Microsoft is working on an appropriate licensing model for applications such as Cloud auto attendants and call queues, for now, you need to use the user-licensing model. So be aware of those costs and ensure you have enough licences. We have been assured this is not a plan from Microsoft to monetize the applications. Due to the high demand for supporting hybrid numbers, multi-numbers, and all the benefits of the service upgrade Microsoft had made the decision to not block these capabilities behind the app cost-free license model.


Existing AA & CQ’s created under the old model will be migrated to the new version without a need to license them. You can no longer use the legacy portal to create new auto attendants and call queues. They will now be created and managed through the Teams admin center.

Other recent improvements:

  • You can assign Multiple numbers to an auto attendant or call queue
  • Round Robin routing option in call queues
  • You can now create auto attendants and call queues in Teams Admin Portal

Upcoming features:

  • Transfer out to PSTN from auto attendant and call queues
  • Extension dialing from auto attendant
  • Voicemail shared mailbox for auto attendant and call queues

Randy Chapman has done a couple of great deep dive blogs on this here:

How to: Assign a Direct Routing Number to an Auto Attendant or Call Queue in Microsoft Teams Phone System

The New Auto Attendants & Call Queues

The New Microsoft Teams Auto Attendants & Call Queues Part 2


Auto Attendant and Call Queues Service Update

Microsoft documentation:

About the author

Tom Arbuthnot

A Microsoft MVP and Microsoft Certified Master, Tom Arbuthnot is Principal Solutions Architect at Microsoft Collaboration specialists Modality Systems.

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


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  • Hi Tom,

    At the previous Skype portal, we could assign an MS service number for each AA/CQ. Now, in Teams portal the MS numbers are not available. In order to create a new resource account for AA/CQ. What is the minimum license requirements for assigning the MS numbers and not using my own on-premise numbers?


  • Hi Tom,

    Thanks for the great article. I’ve configured this and everything looks as per yours and Randy’s screens. However, it’s not accepting the inbound call. Our DirectRouting lines are working fine and our SIP provider say the line is configured the same. Yet they’re getting a 404 response on their side. Any ideas?

    Huge thank , Ian.

    • I came across the same issue also with regular users using Team Phone System with Direct routing and it was just matter of sync between cloud servers. I mean after provisioning the stuff it was not working and I got Not Found from Microsoft SBC but next day it started to work. If this is not your case I would check if you are sending right destination URI as you have setup in Teams for AA/CQ.

    • Hi Tome,

      I assigned on-premises normal number (not a service number) to a service account. I am still getting a 404 response on SBC (reason No_USER_Responding), I enabled Teams only for the service account. also i added the number to direct routing.

      please any Idea?

      Thanks in advance

      • Hi Mohamed,

        It’s tricky to T-shoot infrastructure issues via blog comments. I would love to help directly but there are only so many hours in the day. Best bet is possibly to post on and maybe @ mention me if you like.

        Good luck with the issue



  • Some questions on the Cloud Auto-Attendant service:
    We have a customer using Skype for Business Server 2015 running as a Spilt Domain with their O365 instance. Exchange is in O365. TEAMS has not yet been deployed…we are deciding on appropriate Mode, leaning to Collaboration Only.

    1) Licensing: You indicate that to be eligible targets for Auto-Attendant voice calls, Subscribers must be EV enabled. The S4B users registered to the Server 2015 on-premise system are EV enabled via E3 and the Plus CAL Add-On. Not the Phone system Add-On. Are they still inbounds as far as eligibility as AA targets?
    2) AA service is currently provided by Exchange UM. PSTN is via SIP Trunks brokered by on-premise SBC/S4B topology. This will be transitioned to Cloud AA. You indicate OPCH is in Public Preview. Will this enable use of the existing DID number to access the Cloud AA service leveraging the existing SBC/S4B Server infrastructure?

    Dave Hall

  • And I hope they will add soon also service numbers for Audio Conf bridges leveraging Direct Routing and customers will be happy :)

  • Tom, are you sure “In public preview, you can assign OPCH and CCE number to Cloud Auto Attendant and Call Queues.” Randy Chapman states that is not accurate and I cannot get CCE numbers to work either.

    • That’s what Microsoft says, but I would happily defer to Randy’s hands-on experience.

  • Thanks Tom. I was working on that and found a bug (not sure it is a global bug or an issue).
    Issue: When you assign any number (PSTN or extension) to AA or CQ, You couldn’t unassign this number after that. I mean that when you remove it from GUI or even powershell, it will be removed but without any impact like if you call the same number from teams it will redirect you to the same AA or CQ!

Tom Talks Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 news and opinions