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What is PSTN Calling?

PSTN stands for Public Switched Telephone Network. Sometimes it is referred to as Plain Old Telephone Service or POTS. It is the good old circuit-switched telephones that used to exist in the last century. PSTN used to be dependent on the network of underground copper wires that used to be hardwired between home to businesses and to the switching centers to connect phone calls.

The PSTN used to carry users’ voice calls from his telephone to the recipient phone using wired and switched networks. Connecting a voice call between dialer and recipient was rereferred to as circuit completion. A call was routed through a host of switches located locally, nationally, and internationally using the circuit switching method to connect with the recipient.

According to a study conducted by the National Interest Organization, about 90% of US households had a working landline (PSTN) phone back in 2004. Today, the number has reduced to 40%. Now, more and more people depend on cell phones. Despite reduced PSTN calls, some people still use or rely on PSTN calls to connect with people and businesses. By enabling Microsoft Teams PSTN calling, you expand your reach to even those still using PSTN phone numbers.

Microsoft Teams PSTN Calling

Organizations using Office 365 and Teams are already using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)calls using a device of their choice that has Microsoft Teams app in it. However, the VoIP call is like an intercom. It connects voice calls within the organization and not to the PSTN. Yet, many businesses use PBX hardware for connecting to the PSTN numbers. 

The inbuilt telephony capabilities in Office 365 provide a cloud-based PBX system. Microsoft Teams thus nullified the requirement of PBX hardware and bridged the gap between VoIP calls and PSTN by offering subscription services in the cloud. Now you can use Microsoft Teams exactly like a desk phone and call from anywhere using your device having Microsoft Teams installed in it as long as you have internet connectivity.

Depending on your requirements, you can choose the Microsoft Teams PSTN calling plan. You can opt for domestic as well as international calls offering standard telephone features like call answering, call forwarding, dial pad, call holding, call retrieving, simultaneous ringing, call history, and SOS calls.

Convert Microsoft Teams into Business Phone System

Employees are already calling each other through Microsoft Teams without the need for a phone number. However, with Microsoft Teams PSTN Calling, employees can make calls from anywhere and wherever using their work number.

Two options empower employees to make, receive, and transfer calls- to and from the landlines and mobile devices on the PSTN. To leverage call functionalities in Microsoft Teams, you need to have a phone number and PSTN Connectivity. Go for Microsoft Calling Plans to convert Microsoft teams into a business phone system.

Microsoft Calling Plans: A Microsoft calling plan is an ad-on telephone service. Combining it with the phone systems makes it a voice solution for your business. The Microsoft Calling Plans are available as a per-user license and offer a significant way of making and receiving calls, including primary phone numbers, minute bundles, and PSTN connectivity. You can opt for domestic or international calling plans as per your country and requirements.

Microsoft Calling plans to convert your Teams platform into a hosted PBX system are different from direct routing, where you need a third-party carrier. All the calling plans are available via Office 365 and are currently available in selected (14) countries.

Easily Enable Microsoft Teams PSTN Calling

You can get Microsoft Teams Telephony as an add-on feature under any Microsoft Office 365 plan. The steps and costs involved to enable PSTN calling in Microsoft Teams depend on the type of Microsoft 365 license you have or plan to purchase.

Here is how you can enable PSTN calling in Microsoft Teams,

  • Organizations having Office 365 E5 subscription typically get PSTN Audio Conferencing by default. However, you do not get a particular E5 SKU with PSTN audio conferencing feature.
  • Organizations having Office 365 E1 or E3 subscriptions get Audio Conferencing as a standard inclusion for $4.00/month/user. Else they need to opt for Pay Per Minute PSTN audio conferencing.
  • Organizations having less than 300 users on one of the SME Office 365 Business SKUs or E3 subscriptions can add Telephony and PSTN Audio Conferencing along with the Business Voice SKU,

NOTE: Microsoft 365 licenses do not apply to meeting attendees but applicable to meeting organizers.

If you find this complicated and tricky, better seek help from a reputed Microsoft Teams Consulting service provider like EPC Group.

Advantages of Using Microsoft Teams PSTN Calling

Microsoft Teams was primarily considered to be a communication and collaboration tool. However, Microsoft has converted Teams into a business phone system by adding voice and PBX capabilities. Now, users can make and receive inbound and outbound phone calls apart from meetings, conferencing, chatting, and more.

Here are some advantages of using Microsoft Teams PSTN Calling,

  • Flexible calling plans: With flexible calling plans offered by Microsoft, you can optimize specific lines for specific departments and give them access to a different range of PSTN connectivity like only internal, external, domestic, or international calls.
  • Cost-efficient: Microsoft Teams PSTN calling is beneficial for organizations already using Office 365 licenses. Under the E5 level, you get access to Microsoft Teams Telephony, but with E1 and E3, you have to pay a minimal fee of $8.00 to add the phone system. Besides, add only $12.00 for domestic calling and $24.00 for international calling.
  • Unprecedented features: With Microsoft Teams calling plans, you can access versatile features usually not present on a desk phone. Features such as call forwarding options and simultaneous ring, group call pick up and forward to group transfer a call and consultative transfer, call park and retrieve, caller ID, device switching, integrated dial pad, cloud voice mail, secondary ringer, and much more.
  • Certified devices: Microsoft Teams Certified devices (Bluetooth headset or background noise-suppressing headphones) for optimum voice performance enhance the calling experience. These devices are less expensive than desk phones and provide all-day comfort.

EPC Group Offers Bespoke Microsoft Teams PSTN Calling Consulting

EPC Group is a Microsoft Gold Certified partner. It offers Microsoft Teams consulting and training services since its inception. Microsoft Teams has replaced Skype for Business, and EPC Group has helped global organizations migrate from Skype for Business or Lync Server to MS Teams.

With its certified Microsoft Teams experts, EPC Group helps businesses in a broad range of technologies, including PSTN Calling, required to maximize the value of your MS Teams deployment.

  • Our telephony integration specialists will help you in connecting your business phone systems to MS Teams.
  • Our specialists will assist you in choosing the best Microsoft Calling Plan suiting your needs and facilitate Microsoft Teams PSTN calling implementation.
  • The Microsoft Teams consultants at EPC Group will help you in preserving your business phone numbers. They will offer comparative pricing analysis for enabling PSTN calling in Microsoft Teams.
  • EPC Group has successfully deployed Microsoft Teams Telephony in several global enterprises. They also train their employees and provide unending support whenever they need it.

Why Choose Us

Why Organizations Recognize EPC Group's Consulting Services as the Industry Leader
EPC Group wrote the book on SharePoint & Power BI
Microsoft Partner for 20+ Years
Over 4 million Office 365 users successfully migrated
200+ years combined senior team migration experience
Expertise migrating to Office 365 in every vertical
EPC Group's Chief Architect Errin O'Connor was on the original SharePoint and
Office 365 Beta teams
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