Set up common area phones for Microsoft Teams

A common area phone is typically placed in an area like a lobby or another area that is available to many people to make a call: a reception area, lobby, or conference phone. Common area phones are signed in with accounts tied to a Common Area Phone license.

This article provides an overview of how to deploy and configure Teams phone devices as common area phones for shared spaces. For a more complete meeting room experience, including audio conferencing, consider purchasing a dedicated Teams Rooms license with a Teams Rooms device instead. For more information about Teams Rooms, see Microsoft Teams Rooms.

Overview

The Common Area Phone license supports:

Common Area Phone
Microsoft Teams
Teams Phone ¹
Audio Conferencing ✘ ²
Microsoft Intune
Azure Active Directory Premium Plan 1
Exchange Online Plan 2 ✔ ³
Worldwide Availability
Channel Availability EA, EAS, EES, CSP, Web Direct, GCC, GCC-High, DoD

¹ Previously known as Phone System. ² Common area phones can join audio conferences via a dial-in number provided by the meeting organizer. ³ Cloud-based voicemail capabilities only.

Note

Accounts for common area phones objects created in Skype for Business Server can't be migrated to Microsoft Teams. Follow the steps in this article to recreate those accounts for Teams, and, if required, migrate your Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) connectivity.

Step 1 - Buy the licenses

First, you need to purchase a Common Area Phone (CAP) license and make sure that you have a certified phone. To search for and learn more about certified phones, go to Microsoft Teams devices.

  1. In the Microsoft 365 admin center, go to Billing > Purchase services.

  2. If the View by category section isn't already displayed, go to Purchase from Microsoft, and select View products. Then select Collaboration and communication.

  3. In the product list, find Common Area Phone, and select Details.

  4. Enter the number of licenses you need, and select Buy.

Note

If you’re using Intune in your environment and have conditional access rules that require device compliance, you’ll need to assign an Azure Active Directory Premium Plan 1, and Intune license to the device account for the common area phone.

Common area phones can be impacted by conditional access rules and other identity configurations, like Multi-Factor Authentication. See Authentication best practices for Teams Android devices to learn more.

Step 2 - Create a new user account and assign licenses

Using the Microsoft 365 admin center

If you're deploying more than one common area phones at once, learn how to create accounts and assign licenses using PowerShell.

If you're deploying one device:

  1. In the Microsoft 365 admin center, go to Users > Active Users > Add a user.

  2. Enter a username like Main for the first name and Reception for the second name.

  3. Enter a display name if it doesn't autogenerate one like Main Reception.

  4. Enter a username like MainReception or Mainlobby.

  5. Manually set the password for your common area phone. To set the password, uncheck Automatically create a password and require this user to change their password when they first sign in.

    Important

    Manually setting a password for common area phones is highly recommended to prevent sign-in issues for your end users.

  6. Select the usage location of the device and assign the Common Area Phone license to the account. If any other licenses are needed, like Callings Plans, assign them.

Note

You don't need to add a license with Phone System features. It's included with the Common Area Phone license.

If you aren't using Microsoft Phone System with Direct Routing or Operator Connect, you may want to add Calling Plans licenses. For more information on licenses, see Microsoft Teams add-on licensing.

Using PowerShell

Use PowerShell when you want to create and assign licenses for more than one user account at once. For more information, see Create Microsoft 365 user accounts with PowerShell and Assign Microsoft 365 licenses to user accounts with PowerShell.

Step 3 - Set policies for common area phones

Use policies to control which features are available to users on common area phones.

IP phone policies

The Teams IP Phone policy can only be modified if the account signing into the phone is licensed with something other than a Common Area Phone license. If licensed with a Microsoft 365 E3 or E5 subscription, or an Office 365 Enterprise E1, E3, or E5 subscription, you can modify the IP Phone policy. If you're using a Meeting Room license on your common area phone account, it will only let you use MeetingRoomSignIn mode. MeetingRoomSignIn mode isn't available on most common area phones. For more information about supported overrides for the phone interface, see Set Microsoft Teams Android devices user interface.

Using the Teams IP Phone policy, set the SignInMode parameter to CommonAreaPhoneSignIn to enable the common area phone experience on the Teams phone device.

To configure other parameters, consider creating an IP phone policy. For example, if a common area phone is used in a public area, set an IP phone policy to restrict searching your organization's Global Address Book and block hot-desking. To learn more, see Set Teams Android devices user interface.

Calling policies

Use calling policies to enable private calls, using call forwarding, or simultaneous ring on common area phones. To learn more, see Calling and call-forwarding in Teams.

By default, call park isn't enabled for common area phones. You'll need to create a policy to enable it. To learn more, see Call park and retrieve in Microsoft Teams.

Note

After you assign a policy, sign out of the phone and sign back in. It may take up to an hour for a policy assignment to take effect.

Step 4 - Acquire and assign phone numbers

See Manage telephone numbers for your organization to learn how to acquire and assign phone numbers based on your PSTN connectivity option.

Step 5 - Sign in

Once you create and configure a user account, you can sign into a phone. Depending on how many phones you're deploying, you have three sign-in options:

Local sign-in

To sign in locally with a username and password:

  1. Turn on the common area phone.
  2. Select Sign in on this device.
  3. Follow the sign-in directions on the device. Once signed in, the phone will display the common area phone user experience.

Note

If you are using a custom setup policy that unpins the calling app, the dial pad doesn't appear on the common area phone. For more information about Teams setup policies, see Manage app setup policies in Microsoft Teams.

Sign in from another device

You can also sign into to a common area phone from another device using a code. When you sign in this way, you'll enter the username and password on another device, rather than on the phone itself.

  1. On your common area phone, find the code displayed on the sign-in screen.
  2. On another device, go to https://www.microsoft.com/devicelogin.
  3. Enter the code and follow the instructions to complete signing in.

Sign in using the Teams admin center

As an admin, you can remotely provision and sign into common area phones from the Teams admin center. This method is the most efficient sign-in method when you're deploying a large number of phones at once. See Remote provisioning and sign in for Teams Android devices to learn more.

Step 6 - Set up Advanced calling on common area phones (optional)

By default, the basic calling experience will be on the common area phone's home screen, but you can turn on an advanced calling experience.

The following advanced calling features are available for supported Teams phone device models with a Common Area Phone license and the latest Teams updates (minimum version: 1449/1.0.94.2022061702):

To use these advanced calling features on supported Teams phone device models, you can turn on the Advanced calling toggle in the Teams admin center or on your Teams phone device that is signed into your Common Area Phone account.

Turning on advanced calling capabilities requires you to purchase hardware models that can support all required capabilities.

Turn on Advanced calling in Teams admin center

  1. Sign into the Teams admin center with a Microsoft 365 admin account.
  2. From the left-side menu, navigate to Teams devices > Phones > and select the Configuration profiles tab.
  3. From the list, select the configuration profile assigned to your common area phone.
  4. Under the Calling settings section, find the Advanced calling toggle.
  5. Turn on the toggle.
  6. At the bottom of the page, select the Save button.

Turn on Advanced calling from a Teams phone device

  1. After signing into your Teams phone device, navigate to Settings > Device settings > Admin only > Calling.
  2. Find the Advanced calling toggle and turn it on.

Next steps

Now that you've set up and signed in common area phones for your organization, you can manage them in the Teams admin center. See Microsoft Teams: Managing your devices to learn more.