Microsoft releases end-to-end encryption for Teams calls

Microsoft has also announced that a new Teams Phone with Calling Plan bundle is launching January 1, 2022.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor
Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft announced today that it is rolling out end-to-end encryption (E2EE) for one-to-one Teams calls

According to Microsoft's blog post announcing general availability, admins will have the option to enable and control this feature for their organizations once they receive the update. By default, E2EE won't be available to all users within a tenant. Once IT configures the policy and enables it for selected users, those users will still need to turn this feature on in Teams settings. IT will be able to disable this feature when needed.
Microsoft officials warned that when using E2EE for Teams one-to-one calls, some features will be unavailable. This includes recording; live captions and transcription; and adding participants to make a call a group call. If any of the unavailable features is required, users will need to turn E2EE off.

As Microsoft noted in a blog post in October, real-time video and voice data is protected by E2EE. But it doesn't secure chat or file-sharing, which are both protected at rest and in-transit by other encryption protocols, like HTTPS, for secure connections between a device and a website.  

The E2EE Teams call feature is available on the latest version of the Teams desktop client for Windows or Mac, officials said.

In other recent Teams news, Microsoft will be introducing a new "Teams Phone with Calling Plan" product on January 1, 2022. This new plan combines Microsoft 365 Business Voice with enterprise capabilities in Teams Calling Essentials. These two products will be discontinued once the new plan is released, officials said.

With Teams Phone with Calling Plan -- which will be available to Microsoft 365 and Office 365 business users who have subscriptions including Teams -- users will get 3,000 minutes for domestic calls in the US and Canada. Users will only get 2,300 minutes for domestic calls in other markets, and calls outside users' domestic zones will require an add-on calling plan. 

Teams Phone with Calling Plan will cost $15 per user per month. Teams Phone alone costs $8 per user per month, and domestic calling plan costs another $12 per user per month.

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