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- 01-04-2006, 02:47 AM #1Guest
Whenever anyone dials my Oakland, California, Cingular phone
(510-637-xxxx) from within the Bay Area, using any type of phone, there
is invariably a 6-second delay from the time that they finish dialing
to the time that the phone begins to ring (both on my end and on their
This isn't a problem when people dial my cellphone directly; they don't
notice the delay and they just wait for the ring. However, I've
arranged my telephone life as follows. I have everyone just call my
home phone number, on which I have delayed call forwarding. I have it
set at three rings, to allow me to answer the call on my home phone if
I'm home. After three rings, the call is forwarded to my cellphone.
Here's the problem: because the caller has already heard my home phone
ringing, the 6-second silence (created by the 6-second Cingular delay
that commences when the call is forwarded) causes some of my callers to
conclude that the call was dropped or terminated, and therefore they
hang up before my Cingular phone begins to ring. I've missed some
important messages as a result.
Not all Bay Area Cingular numbers have this 6-second delay. To try to
understand the problem, I've done quite a bit of random dialing within
Cingular's Bay Area prefixes, and it seems that the delay occurs on
roughly 90% of their numbers. The delay occurs among fewer of the
Cingular numbers that reside on ex-ATT prefixes, such as these on this
switch in Concord, California:
For example, when I dialed some (925) 683- numbers in sequence, I found
that 4157, 4163, 4172, 4174, and 4175 don't have the 6-second delay.
You could do some random dialing of your own, on the prefixes of your
choice. (You will be causing minor irritation to the random Cingular
subscribers whose numbers you dial, so I would suggest that you do it
during the day and that you dial any particular number only once.)
On the numbers that don't have the 6-second delay, you'll note
something interesting: many of them begin ringing with a ring that
doesn't resemble the successive rings. This first ring is louder and
has a different quality. This puzzles me. Could it be a dummy ring
that Cingular engineers inserted to minimize the very ring delay that
I'm complaining about?
I've called Cingular tech support, and they've confirmed my observation
that there's variation in the ring delay among Cingular numbers, but
they couldn't explain it and they couldn't tell me how I could arrange
to have a number without a ring delay.
Yesterday, I went into a Cingular store, hoping to find some
salesperson who understands the problem. No such luck. I did find a guy
who was sufficiently intrigued by it that he put my SIM temporarily
into his own phone (a Motorola V551) and then called my number. Then he
gave me a new SIM (without charge). Neither approach made a difference:
the 6-second delay was intact. (My phone, by the way, is a Motorola
I care about this because I really like having my home phone forward to
my cellphone and because if I can solve the problem, I would happily
enter into a two-year Cingular contract so I could give up my current
Pay As You Go account, which I got partly so I could sample Cingular's
service. I like Cingular, but this ring delay might be enough to nudge
me to Verizon Wireless instead. (By the way, my cursory research
indicates that Verizon and Sprint don't have a ring delay, while
T-Mobile and Nextel have a delay like Cingular's.)
Somewhere in the Bay Area, there are rooms full of Cingular techs or
Cingular engineers, and some among them probably understand the delay
and know how to get rid of it. They don't engage in customer contact,
but if I knew where to find them, I might attempt contact anyway.
But alt.cellular.cingular might be a good bet:
∑∑∑∑∑ What causes the ring delay?
∑∑∑∑∑ How could I get rid of it?
∑∑∑∑∑ Who at Cingular could explain or solve the delay?
Thanks in advance.
› See More: 6-second ring delay on my Cingular number
- 01-04-2006, 10:04 AM #2Jud HardcastleGuest
Re: 6-second ring delay on my Cingular number
In article <[email protected]>, xx-
[email protected] says...
> Whenever anyone dials my Oakland, California, Cingular phone
> (510-637-xxxx) from within the Bay Area, using any type of phone, there
> is invariably a 6-second delay from the time that they finish dialing
> to the time that the phone begins to ring (both on my end and on their
I timed it just now and I'm seeing about 5 seconds in Dallas with the
phone's ring and the callers ring nearly at the same time. GSM may be
waiting until the system locates the phone and gets a "okay I'm
ringing" handshake before it sounds the first ring for the caller. That
way it can honor the various GSM forwarding options or send the call to
voice mail after the first "ring". Maybe someone with more GSM tech
knowledge can confirm that. Could be the ones that aren't delaying are
the old switches that generate rings without waiting.
Six seconds really isn't a long delay--most callers won't notice that
short a delay--but...
> arranged my telephone life as follows. I have everyone just call my
> home phone number, on which I have delayed call forwarding. I have it
> set at three rings, to allow me to answer the call on my home phone if
> I'm home. After three rings, the call is forwarded to my cellphone.
> Here's the problem: because the caller has already heard my home phone
> ringing, the 6-second silence (created by the 6-second Cingular delay
> that commences when the call is forwarded) causes some of my callers to
> conclude that the call was dropped or terminated, and therefore they
> hang up before my Cingular phone begins to ring. I've missed some
Yep, been there done that. The delay itself may not be the entire
problem. Most people seem to hang up immediately after/or during the
4th ring. Seems to be an instinctive reaction for humans! :-)
I've found that normal delayed/conditional forwarding is pretty much
useless because of that--if they hang up at the 4th ring at best you get
ONE ring on the cellular--even if you answer quickly often they've
already hung up. The "dumb" systems that generate psuedo rings while
the system is locating the phone just makes it worse.
I used to have Personal Ring Service that Cingular (then SWBell
Wireless) offered--it would ring all the phones you'd told it about at
the same time and route the call to the one you answered. BUT it
immediately started giving the caller dummy rings. The system itself
worked perfectly but it was totally unusable because I was missing far
too many calls because people would hang up before I actually got the
Note the same problem existed early in the cellular days while roaming
outside your home area. The system would start "ringing" before it
actually found the phone--by the time the roaming phone started ringing
the callers would hang up.
I tried Ureach.com's "follow me" service for awhile. It rings a list of
numbers in sequence until it finds you but it had the same problem. The
caller doesn't know what's happening and hangs up long before the call
gets to you.
What HAS worked for me is a one-number service from Accessline. It has
the same ability to call multiple numbers in sequence but it's flexable
enough to allow me to put messages where I want them. For example you
can have the first number ring 3 times then insert a message "Your call
is being forwarded to another number--please wait or press x to go
directly to voice mail" BEFORE the 2nd number starts ringing--and so on.
That seems to "reset" the caller to wait another 3 to 4 rings. Or you
can set it to play a message "This is xxx--your call is being forwarded
to my cell phone--please allow extra ring time" or such before ANY
rings. Actually there's another benefit for having a message up front--
machine generated junk calls see the message and immediately hang up!!!
Which comes in handy since I've permanently forwarded my main home
number to the AL number--then have AL send the call back to a non-
forwarded custom ring number if it's configured to send the call to the
house. Plus everything ends up in one voice mail system. And no I
don't work for them--just happy with something that works--my point
being that if you can get a message in there early enough to tell the
caller what to expect then they won't hang up so quickly.
Dallas TX USA
- 01-04-2006, 12:20 PM #3Guest
Re: 6-second ring delay on my Cingular number
>I've found that normal delayed/conditional forwarding is pretty much
>useless because of that--if they hang up at the 4th ring at best you get
If you have caller id at home, and if most of your callers don't
block it, you can have your computer watch for RING and after
N rings send your cellphone an email with the caller id info. A bit
roundabout, but an option if you can't find a better method.
- LG (Verizon)