Plan and manage costs for Azure Communications Gateway

This article describes how you're charged for Azure Communications Gateway and how you can plan for and manage these costs.

After you've started using Azure Communications Gateway, you can use Cost Management features to set budgets and monitor costs. You can also review forecasted costs and identify spending trends to identify areas where you might want to act.

Costs for Azure Communications Gateway are only a portion of the monthly costs in your Azure bill. Although this article explains how to plan for and manage costs for Azure Communications Gateway, your Azure bill includes all services and resources used in your Azure subscription, including third-party Azure services.


Cost analysis in Cost Management supports most Azure account types, but not all of them. To view the full list of supported account types, see Understand Cost Management data. To view cost data, you need at least read access for an Azure account. For information about assigning access to Microsoft Cost Management data, see Assign access to data.

Understand the full billing model for Azure Communications Gateway

Azure Communications Gateway runs on Azure infrastructure that accrues costs when you deploy new resources. It's important to understand that there could be other infrastructure costs that might accrue.

How you're charged for Azure Communications Gateway

When you deploy Azure Communications Gateway, you're charged for how you use the voice features of the product. The charges are based on the number of users assigned to the platform by a series of Azure Communications Gateway meters. The meters include:

  • A "Fixed Network Service Fee" or a "Mobile Network Service Fee" meter.
    • This meter is charged hourly and includes the use of 999 users for testing and early adoption.
    • Operator Connect, Microsoft Teams Direct Routing and Zoom Phone Cloud Peering are fixed networks.
    • Teams Phone Mobile is a mobile network.
    • If your deployment includes fixed networks and mobile networks, you're charged the Mobile Network Service Fee.
  • A series of tiered per-user meters that charge based on the number of users that are assigned to the deployment. These per-user fees are based on the maximum number of users during your billing cycle, excluding the 999 users included in the service availability fee.

For example, if you have 28,000 users assigned to the deployment each month, you're charged for:

  • The service availability fee for each hour in the month
  • 24,001 users in the 1000-25000 tier
  • 3000 users in the 25000+ tier


A Microsoft Teams Direct Routing or Zoom Phone Cloud Peering user is any telephone number configured with Direct Routing service or Zoom service on Azure Communications Gateway. Billing for the user starts as soon as you have configured the number.

An Operator Connect or Teams Phone Mobile user is any telephone number that meets all the following criteria.

  • You have provisioned the number within your Operator Connect or Teams Phone Mobile environment.
  • The number is configured for connectivity through Azure Communications Gateway.
  • The number's status is "assigned" in the Operator Connect environment. This includes (but is not limited to) assignment to users, Conferencing bridges, Voice Applications and Third Party applications.

Azure Communications Gateway does not charge for Telephone Numbers (TNs) that are not "assigned" in the Operator Connect environment.

At the end of your billing cycle, the charges for each meter are summed. Your bill or invoice shows a section for all Azure Communications Gateway costs. There's a separate line item for each meter.


If you receive a quote through Microsoft Volume Licensing, pricing may be presented as aggregated so that the values are easily readable (for example showing the per-user meters in groups of 10 or 100 rather than the pricing for individual users). This does not impact the way you will be billed.

If you've arranged any custom work with Microsoft, you might be charged an extra fee for that work. That fee isn't included in these meters.

If your Azure subscription has a spending limit, Azure prevents you from spending over your credit amount. As you create and use Azure resources, your credits are used. When you reach your credit limit, the resources that you deployed are disabled for the rest of that billing period. You can't change your credit limit, but you can remove it. For more information about spending limits, see Azure spending limit.

Other costs that might accrue with Azure Communications Gateway

You must pay for Azure networking costs, because these costs aren't included in the Azure Communications Gateway meters.

  • If you're connecting to the public internet with Microsoft Azure Peering Service for Voice (MAPS Voice), you might need to pay a third party for the cross-connect at the exchange location.
  • If you're connecting to the public internet with ExpressRoute Microsoft Peering, you must purchase ExpressRoute circuits with a specified bandwidth and data billing model.
  • If you're connecting into Azure as a next hop, you might need to pay virtual network peering costs.

You must also pay for any costs charged by the communications services to which you're connecting. These costs don't appear on your Azure bill, and you need to pay them to the communications service yourself.

Costs if you cancel or change your deployment

If you cancel Azure Communications Gateway, your final bill or invoice includes charges on service fee meters for the part of the billing cycle before you cancel. Per-user meters charge for the entire billing cycle.

You must remove any networking resources that you set up for Azure Communications Gateway. For example, if you're connecting into Azure as a next hop, you must remove the virtual network peering. Otherwise, you'll still be charged for those networking resources.

If you have multiple Azure Communications Gateway deployments and you move users between deployments, these users count towards meters in both deployments. This double counting only applies to the billing cycle in which you move the subscribers; in the next billing cycle, the users only count towards meters in their new deployment.

Using Azure Prepayment with Azure Communications Gateway

You can pay for Azure Communications Gateway charges with your Azure Prepayment credit. However, you can't use Azure Prepayment credit to pay for charges for third-party products and services including those from the Azure Marketplace.

Monitor costs

When you deploy and use Azure Communications Gateway, you incur costs. You can see these costs in cost analysis.

When you use cost analysis, you view Azure Communications Gateway costs in graphs and tables for different time intervals. Some examples are by day, current and prior month, and year. You also view costs against budgets and forecasted costs. Switching to longer views over time can help you identify spending trends. And you see where overspending might have occurred. If you've created budgets, you can also easily see where they're exceeded.

To view Azure Communications Gateway costs in cost analysis:

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal.
  2. Open the scope in the Azure portal and select Cost analysis in the menu. For example, go to Subscriptions, select a subscription from the list, and then select Cost analysis in the menu. Select Scope to switch to a different scope in cost analysis.
  3. By default, cost for services are shown in the first donut chart. Select the area in the chart labeled Azure Communications Gateway.

Actual monthly costs are shown when you initially open cost analysis.

To narrow costs for a single service, like Azure Communications Gateway, select Add filter and then select Service name. Then, select Azure Communications Gateway. From here, you can explore costs on your own.

Create budgets

You can create budgets to manage costs and create alerts that automatically notify stakeholders of spending anomalies and overspending risks. Alerts are based on spending compared to budget and cost thresholds. Budgets and alerts are created for Azure subscriptions and resource groups, so they're useful as part of an overall cost monitoring strategy.

Budgets can be created with filters for specific resources or services in Azure if you want more granularity present in your monitoring. Filters help ensure that you don't accidentally create new resources that cost you additional money. For more information about the filter options available when you create a budget, see Group and filter options.

Export cost data

You can also export your cost data to a storage account. Exporting cost data is helpful when you or others need to do further data analysis. For example, a finance team can analyze the data using Excel or Power BI. You can export your costs on a daily, weekly, or monthly schedule and set a custom date range. Exporting cost data is the recommended way to retrieve cost datasets.

Next steps