Microsoft Teams Bandwidth and Data Usage Calculator

I use Teams at work for conference calling with customers, voice calls with my colleagues, messaging and more.

My role as a sales professional means I am often on the road 🚌 and need to take calls from coffee shops, airports and many different types of locations.

If it’s a coffee shop and not too busy, I can rely on a stable Wi-Fi connection provided by the business. However, if there’s a laptop at every table, there’s a high likelihood that the wireless connection is overloaded. In such and many other situations, I have to rely on 4G or 5G data using my phone or SIM card.

Microsoft Teams can use a lot of data. I realized this when I was using it on my phone for a video conference call and it went over the data limits for my plan. I also realized that I had a poor understanding of how much data is used by Teams 🫤

To correct that I created a tool for myself that calculates how much data and bandwidth is required by Teams 🖩

To use it enter

  • Amount of time spent on meetings with Voice or Video
  • Number of users (if you’re a network administrator looking to plan bandwidth requirements for your organization)
  • Number of calls made

The tool will provide the total bandwidth with the desired units.

Example Calculations

A one minute Teams voice meeting with a single user consumes 1.14 Megabytes. Two users simply doubles that number to 2.28 MB. By comparison a one minute video call uses 60 MB of data.

Example of how the calculator is used to decide which SIM card to buy

A one minute Teams video meeting with a single user consumes 60 MB. A one video call then uses 60 MB * 60 minutes = 3600 MB or 3.6 Gigabytes of data. The most cost-effective option on this card offers only 5GB per month. A ninety minute call will use that up fast! If you’re traveling for work it might be best go get the unlimited option.

Background

Teams bandwidth consumption depends on whether it is a voice or video meeting and the app settings. In this tool we have used Microsoft’s recommendation for the best performance settings. Compare requirements for other applications using the table provided here.

Who needs this tool?

This tool can be used for many different applications

  • To answer the question – what SIM card do I need to purchase when I’m traveling? In particular, what are the data requirements as illustrated in the example above
  • Planning an organization’s network requirements. Is there a cap on the data provided and what should that number be?

Data consumption vs Bandwidth

A question that comes up often is – what’s the difference between data usage, and bandwidth consumption.

Data usage as the term suggests, measures the total amount of data consumed when you’re using a mobile device (laptop, tablet, phone).

When you download a PDF file for example that’s 5 MB in size, the total data downloaded is 5 MB. It may be a little more in practice due to overhead that’s associated with data packets used to carry that information.

The quality of streaming video on the other hand can be reduced over a lower speed link and therefore the total size of the file corresponding to a video clip for instance can be lower.

Units for data usage: kilobytes (kB), Megabytes (MB), Terabytes (TB).

Bandwidth is a measure of how fast data is transferred to your mobile device. A larger bandwidth number indicates faster data transport. Within the context of tools like Teams, Microsoft provides requirements depending on the application. For instance the table below shows requirements for one-on-one audio and video meetings

Meeting typeMinimum (kbps)Recommended (kbps)Best (kbps)
Audio10/1058/5876/76
Video150/1501500/15004000/4000

The table indicates a minimum bandwidth of 10 kbps both on the uplink and downlink for one-on-one audio calls. For best performance the network speed should be 76 kbps in both directions.

For comparison the best video call requires 4000 kbps in both up and down directions. This is over 50 times the bandwidth required for a voice call.

🙋 Something to remember when you’re in a high speed train where it’s difficult to get a high speed cellular connection or in situations where you don’t have an unlimited wireless data plan.

Units for bandwidth: kilobit-per-second (kbps), Megabit-per-second (Mbps), Gigabit-per-second (Gbps). Use this calculator to convert units – for example kbps to Mbps. Note that bandwidth is specified in Megabit per second and not Megabytes per second. What’s the difference between Mbps and MBps?

Use this tool to compute the total data usage given a bandwidth number and time for which the connection is active.

Related Calculators

How do other conference calling tools compare when it comes to data usage and bandwidth requirements?

Compare the data use and bandwidth with

Microsoft Teams Data Consumption Table

The following table shows the data use for a single user in Megabytes for Voice and Video calling.

MinutesVoice Meeting (MB)Video Meeting (MB)
11.1460
22.28120
33.42180
44.56240
55.7300
66.84360
77.98420
89.12480
910.26540
1011.4600
1112.54660
1213.68720
1314.82780
1415.96840
1517.1900
1618.24960
1719.381020
1820.521080
1921.661140
2022.81200
2123.941260
2225.081320
2326.221380
2427.361440
2528.51500
2629.641560
2730.781620
2831.921680
2933.061740
3034.21800
3135.341860
3236.481920
3337.621980
3438.762040
3539.92100
3641.042160
3742.182220
3843.322280
3944.462340
4045.62400
4146.742460
4247.882520
4349.022580
4450.162640
4551.32700
4652.442760
4753.582820
4854.722880
4955.862940
50573000
5158.143060
5259.283120
5360.423180
5461.563240
5562.73300
5663.843360
5764.983420
5866.123480
5967.263540
6068.43600