Skip to main content

How to License Common Area Phones with Microsoft Teams

Common Area Phone Licensing Skype for Business and Teams Chart

UPDATED: 3/18/2022

Microsoft has provided a much-needed update for options to license the various use cases for common area phones with their cloud-based phone system application, Microsoft Teams. This has been a long time coming, as there has been a great deal of confusion and over-licensing to ensure full functionality. There are two options for licensing common area phones as March 2022.

Microsoft Skype for Business common area phone SKU listing

Common Area Phone License – $8/device/month

This plan has been available for a while and has been the method most organizations used to license common area devices. The SKU includes the Microsoft Phone System License, so those devices can accept calls and join meetings; however, the room cannot initiate the conference (would need an Audio Conferencing license). The device would also need a Calling Plan to join a PSTN conference ($12/month domestic, and $24/month domestic + international).

These devices cannot be managed and configured through Intune, which makes the manual setup and configuration problematic for larger organizations.

This plan is the more appropriate option for true common area phones (as opposed to conference rooms), as it comes in at a lower price point and doesn’t require the features that a conference room phone would need, such as creating conference bridges.

Meeting Room License – $15/device/month

This new plan is the far better solution for conference rooms, as the license provides both the Microsoft Phone System License, Audio Conferencing License, and can be managed through Intune. Like the Common Area Phone license, this also needs a Calling Plan to have full functionality, but still comes in with a much more complete feature package. This is the best option for all conference rooms, from huddle rooms through executive board rooms. These licenses can be purchased through the CSP, EA, and direct programs with Microsoft.

If you would like assistance developing your licensing strategy for Microsoft Teams, please reach out to and ask to speak with Martin Feehan.

Martin Feehan, PEI


  • Kevin says:

    Why not just license with Skype for Business Online (Plan 2) + Cloud PBX + PSTN Calling (Domestic)?

  • Joe says:

    As of the present moment, it’s possible to license Cloud PBX with SfB Online Plan 2. It’s much less expensive than the Enterprise plan.

    • Adam Lee says:

      Hey Joe – that is correct. This wasn’t always possible but Microsoft has fixed this, so if you have a common area phone, you can use the Skype for Business Online Plan 2 license as the base license, and then add on the Microsoft Phone System (previously Cloud PBX), and then add the Calling Plan (Previously PSTN Calling) and you’re good to go.
      -Adam, PEI

  • Thomas says:

    So what if I want just a shared voice mailbox without a DID. Such as a group mailbox for an after-hours auto attendant. Do I still have to have a full E3 license and PTSN and cloud PBX ?

  • Can you update this with the new Common Area Phone Sku coming out in this month? Thanks

    • Stephanie Hamrick says:

      Hi Daniel,

      Microsoft has finally released this SKU, and we’ve updated this content to reflect this change. Thank you for reading!

Leave a Reply