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Thread: Ring decoding???

  1. #1
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    Ring decoding???

    Is there anyway you can tell what the different rings mean when calling an AT&T phone???

    For example:
    1. Long pause with no rings and straight to voicemail.
    2. No pause and straight to voicemail.
    3. One quick ring then to voicemail.
    4. Two rings then to voicemail.
    5. Four rings then to voicemail.
    6. One ring then one quick one following then four rings then to voicemail.

    These are all rings I have encountered when calling an AT&T phone.
    My guess would be:
    1. Battery died
    2. Phone is off
    3. User is making a call and/or using some feature on the phone.
    4. User is on the phone and ignored call by sending it to voicemail.
    5. User just missed the call.
    6. User is on the phone and can't answer the call.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!!! And would save a lot of aggrevation. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    In regards to the number of rings then going to voicemail is not standard as the user can set their call diversion time setting anywhere from 5 seconds up to 30 seconds before going to voicemail or forwarding to another number.

    The User can also call Customer service and have them adjust the time setting as well before going to voicemail.

    As for the ringtone times, the standard on most systems is usually a 3 second ring with a 2 second pause in between is what you would hear on your side. What is heard on the otherside depends on the Users ringtone.

    So the following could also be true:

    3. Person has set their setting to 5 (or 10) seconds and such you get 1 ring then goes to VM.
    4. Person has set their setting to 10-15 seconds and such you get 2 rings then goes to VM.
    5. Person has set their setting to 20-25 seconds and such you get 4 rings then goes to VM.
    6. Person has set their setting to 5-10 seconds and such you get 1 ring followed by 1 quick ring, then gets forwarded to their second cellphone which is set for 20-30 seconds giving you the 4 rings then goes to that cells VM.

    1. Could be #6 above, but both phones are off.
    2. Sounds about right.


    You can read about the call diversion codes in this link.

    GSM Codes thread in General Questions forum here on Howardforums.

    or this site.

    Using it: GSM codes
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    I understand totally what you are saying about "setting the call diversion timer", but in my case, I hear these different ring scenarios all day when I call the man I am dating. I definitely know that he does not have the time to reset his "timing" after every call. So that is why I asked about the different rings...they have to mean something don't you think???

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    If he is in the same spot and you are in the same spot each and everytime you try to call, it should be the same scenario for what you came up with for each different type of rings.

    If one of you are in a different area each time then it could be caused by network delays from the different towers in reaching the other caller to complete the call.


    Sounds like you are delving too deep into this and may be having insecure thoughts of your relationship.

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    Erm... in some areas where capacity is a problem, the phone can ring for four times even if the phone you are calling has no reception, or is camping on the site. [Perhaps that's an IS-136 / TDMA term, but still.]

    I have had my phone during peak use with the EFR codec ring four times before the phone actually indicated it was receiving a call, often the network would give it another four rings after that.

    Also, you could always just remove the battery back or have the phone lose reception while it's ringing. That's a great way to give your callers a fast busy signal, though the loss of reception issue never seems to happen on other GSM networks I have used...

    Also - you may hear the same US / Canada electronic ring, but a real ring on the phone will be of a higher, less-noisy volume. The four rings to voicemail if the phone is off usually sound granier and a lower volume.

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    Maybe you should just talk to him about whatever it is you're having an issue with? Seems like you've spent quite a bit of time differentiating the types of "ring scenarios".

    It can be due to network capacity issues. Some can be due to the phone not being connected to the network (turned off, no signal, ect). Some can be just the receiver opting to ignore the call. And even if the receiver choose the ignore the call, how it's handled can vary depending on the phone the person is using. Some phones sends the call to voicemail as soon as the person hit "ignore call". Some phones just turn the ringer/vibrate off and the phone continues to ring on the other end until voicemail picks it up.

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    it could also simply be the phone is on vibrate or low volume ring and he doesnt hear it, so it rings until it reaches VM. theres really no set way to decode ringing pattern since so many variables are involved.

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    Ok, to really answer your question, perhaps he is on the phone with another woman and has to hang-up, or worse, sends you to voicemail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slopes02840
    Is there anyway you can tell what the different rings mean when calling an AT&T phone???

    For example:
    1. Long pause with no rings and straight to voicemail.
    2. No pause and straight to voicemail.
    In either case, the phone is off or in a no service area.

    The long pause could indicate that the phone's battery died, or went into a dead zone, or somehow went into a state where the network can't find it, but it never formally "signed off" the network.

    3. One quick ring then to voicemail.
    Can't reliably say anything. The phone could be off/in a no coverage area, and the quick ring you heard was false indicator. Or, the person holding the phone quickly ignored your call, sending it to voicemail.

    4. Two rings then to voicemail.
    The phone most likely received the call and started ringing, but was either turned off or set to ignore the call as it was ringing.

    Or, the called person was already on the phone, got a call waiting tone, and ignored the second call, sending it straight to voicemail and continuing their first call.

    5. Four rings then to voicemail.
    More than likely, the phone rang but was left unattended and not answered. Timed out and went to voicemail.

    6. One ring then one quick one following then four rings then to voicemail.
    Could be any number of things. Most probable explanation is that the network had a brief delay/hiccup in locating the phone, then located it and it rang, but it was unattended and the call timed out, going to voicemail.

    A less likely explanation was that the call was forwarded. With older phone switches, a tripped ring is a telltale sign that a call is getting forwarded to another number. But it's extremely rare for a modern cell phone switching center to do that. Usually forwarded calls get forwarded right away and the caller isn't clued in.

    At the end of the day, you can't absolutely, positively pin down a cause for these things every time, because every cell phone network has minor quirks and variations. Telephone networks mix and match switches from different vendors, and each switch can act a little differently. Engineers might also tweak certain parts of the network to act in a different way on purpose, for whatever reason.

    So, you can be about, I'd say, 95% sure these are the causes, but, not 100% sure.

    And one last thing: the above only holds true for GSM networks (T-mobile, AT&T). On a CDMA network (Verizon, Sprint), all bets are off, and you can't reliably say anything at all about what you heard. CDMA is great technology air-interface wise, but the way the switches operate is an inconsistent mess compared to GSM/UMTS. The US networks made the voice side of CDMA compatible with analog, and that makes it a very dumbed-down network by comparison. So on CDMA:

    - Phones might "ring" even when they're turned off. Or, maybe they won't.
    - If you call a CDMA phone, you might hear ringing on your end before the phone actually starts ringing. Or, you might not.
    - On Sprint, I've had calls go straight to voicemail even when the phone was on and claimed to have full signal. For some people this is very rare. Other people are less lucky, and get this problem all the time. There was even one guy in the Sprint forum whose phone worked perfectly, but his wife's phone, on the same account, would never receive a call, even though the phones were identical and were even sitting right next to each other.

    So, just some food for thought.


    The only thing you can be sure about on CDMA is that if a person answers their phone, then they got the call.

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