Does Teams use more bandwidth with more participants?

Most people understand that Teams must consume bandwidth to some extent. But, despite this, we couldn’t be sure that Teams used more bandwidth as calls grew in participants. Fortunately, I finally have an answer— though that’s not surprising.

A Teams call requires more bandwidth for each person speaking or transmitting audio. However, the increase in bandwidth is not exclusively related to a call’s member count.. Below, I illustrate how Teams’ bandwidth consumption changes as participants join a call. We assume all members have their video and audio input enabled in the example.

ParticipantsIncrease (Current bandwidth*Displayed videos)/2Minimum bandwidth used (Kbps)
2(200 * 2)/2 150
3(200 * 3)/2 300
4(200 * 4)/2 400
5(200 * 4)/2 400

This post will address Teams’ general bandwidth consumption during calls, your data loss within a 1-hour call, and how participants impact bandwidth consumption. When appropriate, I will provide tables to represent data better.

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How much bandwidth do Teams calls consume?

Microsoft Teams requires an internet connection to work; hence, it likely consumes bandwidth. Although Teams will take as much of your available bandwidth as it needs, you can use third-party tools to limit bandwidth consumption. Below, I have outlined the minimum, optimal, and recommended bandwidth you leave available for Microsoft Teams.

Teams bandwidth overview

When you and a colleague or friend participate in a standard Teams call, you will consume varying amounts of bandwidth. While you do not require a lot of bandwidth to transmit video input, you will find that a more significant bandwidth amount will offer a higher quality video. In contrast, limited bandwidth will provide you with the lesser video quality. In the table below, I have outlined Microsoft’s stated bandwidth suggestions below.

PerformanceUpload rate (Kbps)Download rate (Kbps)

Although we’re talking about standard calls, I thought it would be worth illustrating the bandwidth usage of meetings. I’ve chosen to take this action due to the minor difference in suggested download rates.

PerformanceUpload rate (Kbps)Download rate (Kbps)

Does the number of participants in a call impact bandwidth?

As I discussed earlier, the number of participants in a Teams call or meeting can and will impact Teams’ bandwidth consumption. The following section will address the extent to which bandwidth can be affected.

The extent to which participants impact Teams’ bandwidth consumption

Although several factors impact bandwidth, this instance’s primary factors are:

  • Teams’ available bandwidth.
  • The number of video-sharing participants.
  • The resolution of each displayed video.

For a general idea, we can attempt the following equation to estimate how much bandwidth Microsoft Teams uses at varying call sizes.

(Current Bandwidth use    x    Participants (displaying media)    /    2

If you’re uncertain about Microsoft’s recommended bandwidth requirements, you can read them below:

  • Minimum (up/down kbps): 150/200
  • Recommended (up/down kbps): 2,500/4,000
  • Best performance (up/down kbps) 4,000/4,000

We can infer the following data with the information I have stated in mind.

ParticipantsMinimum bandwidth resultRecommended bandwidth resultBest bandwidth result

How much data will my call consume per hour?

If you’re scheduling a long call or meeting, you may wish to know how much data you will consume. I will address this matter in the following section.

ParticipantsMinimum data loss (MB)Recommended data loss (MB)Best data loss (MB)

Data consumption overview

We know how much data Microsoft Teams uses each second at varying bandwidth levels, so we can multiply it by the number of seconds in an hour (3,600) and convert the output to a more readable unit of measurement.

ParticipantsMinimum data loss (MB)Recommended data loss (MB)Best data loss (MB)

Blog post recap

Microsoft Teams utilizes varying amounts of bandwidth. In this post, I have addressed the bandwidth consumed by Teams (each second), the extent to which call size impacts bandwidth, and how much data your call will consume within an hour.

Thank you for reading this post. If you enjoyed the content or found it helpful, please consider checking out the following related posts. Our writers work hard to produce in-depth guides on various Microsoft 365 topics.

Jack Mitchell

Jack Mitchell has been the Operations manager at telecoms and MSP Optionbox for more than 4 years. He has played a crucial role in the company, from marketing to helpdesk, and ensures that the IT requirements of over 300 clients are continuously met. With his innate passion for technology and troubleshooting and a particular interest in Apple products, Jack now delivers the most comprehensive tech guides to make your life easier. You can connect with Jack on LinkedIn.

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