We all have got used to the Covid-19 caller tune that the Government has put on default. Interestingly, the caller tune is only as long as the dialogue. If you remember few other caller tunes based on songs, this was not the case. The song used to end abruptly, leaving a tinge of desire, and at times, disappointment. But did you know that how long a caller tune will be is a highly technical and debatable issue?

Ringing time in the landline era used to be longer. People had to come up to answer their phones you see. Mobiles changed this dramatically. Voice Assistants are further changing the game. TRAI in one of its consultation papers has noted that unusually long caller tunes lead to wastage of resources. At the same time, shorter caller tunes at times ensure that the phone call is not answered, and the consumer makes another call, leading to double usage of resources.

International Telecommunication Union mandates caller tunes as per Common Channel Signalling System no. 7 (CCS7) specifications. India has its own national specifications, which are mandated by Telecommunication Engineering Centre (TEC). Clause 27.3 of the UL Agreement (the contract between telecom service providers and the government) mandate TSPs to follow the standards set by TEC.

In the specifications mandated in April 2007 for landlines, the maximum caller tune time is 60 seconds, after which the connection must drop. For mobile phones, the 2004 regulations mandated maximum 30 seconds of unanswered time.

So, how long does your phone ring?



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