[VoiceOps] Letting a phone ring forever?

Scott Berkman scott at sberkman.net
Tue Jul 26 14:51:11 EDT 2011

+1 on this answer.  Very few carriers (from the origination side) will allow
a call to ring forever, so the best answer to this is to test a few of the
relevant providers (Major cell carriers, local iLEC landline, etc.) and see
when they time out, and then let that be the limiting factor.  This will be
easy to show the customer, of course these types of customers are rarely
influenced by facts.

Not to mention there isn't a sane human in the world that will stay on the
line for 5 minutes when the line is just ringing and ringing.  Way before
that time they'll hang up and try your customer's competitor, who probably
has an AA that answers immediately.


-----Original Message-----
From: voiceops-bounces at voiceops.org [mailto:voiceops-bounces at voiceops.org]
On Behalf Of Jay Hennigan
Sent: Tuesday, July 26, 2011 2:34 PM
To: voiceops at voiceops.org
Subject: Re: [VoiceOps] Letting a phone ring forever?

On 7/26/11 11:09 AM, Carlos Alvarez wrote:
> We have a customer who has asked us to let his main line ring "forever"
> or at least five minutes.  As a standard practice we forcefully hang 
> up on an unanswered call at 90 seconds if the customer has turned off 
> voicemail and auto-attendants.  It seems wrong to let a line ring 
> forever or even for minutes at a time, and I recall something in the 
> back of my head about a traditional industry-standard limit.

Interfacing to conventional telephony devices gets kind of sticky in these
cases.  If the line hasn't been seized and returned answer supervision then
there is no way to signal the originating device to tear down the call from
the end switch.  The originating switch can time out and tear down the call
without supervision of course.  And that is likely to be the issue with
honoring your customer's request.

The main obstacle to letting it ring forever is that even if *you* set a
ridiculously long timeout, the rest of the world calling his main line isn't
going to be inclined to follow suit.  Virtually all carriers on the
originating side will treat the call as abandoned after some time that is
likely going to be less than 300 seconds.  Cellular carriers especially are
going to be aggressive about tearing down calls that are consuming airtime
and not generating revenue.  Likewise long distance and international

Back in the good old days of various colored boxes, it wasn't uncommon to
have calls that weren't officially answered (OK, technically they were
*very* briefly answered) that would last for an hour or more.  I don't
personally know how any of this was done, of course.  ;-)

Jay Hennigan - CCIE #7880 - Network Engineering - jay at impulse.net Impulse
Internet Service  -  http://www.impulse.net/ Your local telephone and
internet company - 805 884-6323 - WB6RDV
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