What is Audio Conferencing?

Calling in (dialing in) to meetings is very useful for users who are on the road and can’t attend a meeting using the Skype for Business or Microsoft Teams app on their laptops or mobile devices. But there are other scenarios in which using a phone to attend a Skype for Business or Microsoft Teams meeting can be a better option than using an app on a computer:

  • Internet connectivity is limited.
  • A meeting is audio only.
  • The person tried to join a Skype for Business meeting and it failed.
  • The call quality is better when dialing in.
  • People can join a meeting “hands free” using Bluetooth devices.
  • People find it’s easier and more convenient for their situation.

You only need to set up Audio Conferencing for people who plan to schedule or lead meetings. Meeting attendees who dial in don’t need any licenses assigned to them or other setup.

What does it cost?

If you have Microsoft 365 E5, Office 365 E5 or Microsoft 365 Business Voice Audio Conferencing is included.

For other Microsoft 365 subscripptions you can add-on Audio Conferencing for as little as $4.00/user/month for unlimited inbound calls.

Where is it available?

With Audio Conferencing, your users can use toll and toll-free phone numbers to dial in to meetings. Toll (service) numbers are automatically assigned as shared audio conferencing numbers to organizations when they’re enabled for Audio Conferencing. Dedicated toll and toll-free numbers can be assigned to your organization from additional cities.

Toll-free phone numbers (service numbers) are available, but only in some countries/regions. To see what is available in your country or region, see Country and region availability for Audio Conferencing and Calling Plans.

After you have decided you want Audio Conferencing for your organization, you need to buy one Audio Conferencing license for each person in your organization who is going to schedule/host an audio meeting.

How do conferencing bridges work?

When you are setting up Audio Conferencing for Skype for Business or Microsoft Teams, you will get an audio conferencing bridge. A conferencing bridge can contain one or more phone numbers. The phone number you set will be included on the meeting invites for Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams apps. You can change the phone numbers on your conferencing bridge, and you can also change other audio conferencing bridge settings.

The audio conferencing bridge answers a call for people who are dialing in to a meeting using a phone. It answers the caller with voice prompts from an auto attendant, and then, depending on your settings, can play notifications and ask callers to record their name. Microsoft bridge settings allow you to change the settings for meeting notifications and the meeting join experience, and set the length of the PINs that are used by meeting organizers in Microsoft Teams or in Skype for Business Online. Meeting organizers use PINs to start meetings if they can’t join the meeting using the Skype for Business or Microsoft Teams app.