Microsoft Teams has become a well-established communication tool amongst businesses of all sizes and industries in recent years. However, now that most users have had plenty of time to get used to the simplicity and limited features offered by Teams, the next natural step is asking if Microsoft Teams can be used for external phone calls to Landlines and Mobiles.

Fortunately, the answer is yes. There are a handful of Microsoft Teams Voice solutions that allow you to make and receive external calls, enabling users to take advantage of all Teams’ usability features, and empowering businesses by eliminating concerns around having to manage – and pay for – multiple separate communications systems.

When it comes to implementing a connection between your internal Microsoft Teams solutions and the wider phone network, there are a few options to choose from. You can use Microsoft’s calling plans, but these can be costly and complex to manage. With our expertise of providing UK businesses with Teams Voice solutions for the last 15 years, ARO offers 4 different solutions for Teams Voice, addressing varying business requirements and environments.

So which option should you choose?

1. Operator Connect

Designed by Microsoft and serviced by Gamma and ARO, our Operator Connect solution introduces best-in-class, integrated PSTN calling to the Microsoft Teams environment, providing a seamless way to handle calls both internally and externally.

Operators are hand-picked by Microsoft based on their network and operator credentials and, as one of the UK’s leading business telecoms providers, Gamma has been selected to be part of the Operator Connect program.

Operator Connect offers businesses the advantage of simplified management as the integration minimises the need for extensive on-premises infrastructure or complex configurations often associated with traditional telephony systems. Additionally, this solution is designed for quick deployment and provides built-in redundancy and failover capabilities, enduring reliability and high call quality. The operators also handle the technical aspects, such as Session Border Controllers (SBCs) and network provisioning, reducing the administrative burden on IT departments.

2. Direct Routing

Direct Routing allows business to utilise Microsoft Teams for external calling by connecting Teams to their existing phone system through a Session Border Controller. This integration allows organisations to leverage their current telephony infrastructure while benefiting from the advanced communication features of Microsoft Teams, providing the flexibility to use any telecommunication provider, and introducing more control over telephony costs and services.

ARO’s Direct Routing solution is designed using our own Microsoft certified, carrier grade SBC, as well as our own geographically resilient data centres. The complete stack is replicated, meaning that if there is any kind of service degradation in one data centre, the service can be seamlessly flipped to the other mirrored data centre – ensuring users don’t experience any breaks or other disruption.

This solution is often popular amongst SMB customers due to its cost-effective design, and the fact that it scales alongside business growth.

3. Custom Build

To help businesses to overcome more complex challenges and address more unique requirements, ARO offer Custom Build solutions that allow organisations to introduce Voice for Teams into their ecosystem via a choice of 3 different methods.

1. On-Premise SBC 

  • Dedicated Session Border Controller owned by you, managed by ARO.
  • Can be situated within your environment in an office location or private data centre.
  • Complete control with the ability to hybrid Teams with another PBX.
  • Pair multiple SBCs in different locations to provide resiliency at desired scale.

2. Private Cloud

  • Dedicated virtual SBC hosted by ARO.
  • A fully managed and monitored service.
  • Existing legacy SIP and analogue device support.
  • Bespoke telephony integrations.

3. Public Cloud

  • Leverages Azure as a certified public cloud for Direct Routing.
  • On-Net with Microsoft.
  • Migrate existing on-premise SBCs/PBX to the cloud inline with your organisation’s strategy.
  • SBC is built and managed by ARO.

4. Phone System with Teams Link

For businesses who want to enable external calls by introducing a Teams Link, whether that be for an existing or new phone system, we have 2 different methods that organisations can choose from depending on their phone system requirements.

1. Your existing phone system, contact centre and setup linked straight to Teams via Call2Teams

  • Enterprise-grade security and encryption without needing any other software or hardware.
  • Quick, simple one-click deployment.
  • Zero disruption or risk – works with any phone system, PBX or SIP Trunk provider.
  • Global reach – operations in Azure cloud, served from super-clusters across 4 continents.
  • UCaaS solution – a way to avoid rip & replace, with updates and maintenance managed for you remotely.

2. A new/existing Hosted Phone System connected to Teams via your PBX vendor’s Teams link

  • As cost effective as direct routing or dedicated Session Border Controllers.
  • Additional flexibility of a dedicated enterprise grade PBX in the background.
  • Provides full flexibility while routing calls through the Teams UI for ease of use.
  • Hosted UCaaS vendors that provide a link between their PBX and Teams include Wildix, NFON, Horizon and Mitel.


What is the best option for your business?

Still unsure which Teams Voice solution is the perfect fit for your business? Download our detailed brochure for a more in-depth explanation of each solution. Alternatively, get in touch with a member of our Team to discuss your specific requirements.