Mar 12 AT 3:54 PM Christopher Earle 7 Comments

Automated Dialing For Calling Cards Explained

Do you use a calling card for international long distance with your G1? Want to program in the access number and pauses so that all you have to do is press a button to dial the sequence? It isn’t hard. With most cell phones, the G1 included, a comma in the phone number field adds a one second pause. The first thing to do is gather some information before creating the new dialing sequence. You will need to know the following:

  1. The access number for the calling card (usually on the back of the card)
  2. The number of seconds before the calling card service asks for your PIN
  3. The PIN for the calling card
  4. The number of seconds before the calling card service asks for the number you are dialing
  5. The destination phone number.

Once you have the information, it is simply a matter of entering the numbers with commas between them to delay the dialing of the next numerical sequence. For example.

  1. The access number is 800 555 1212
  2. There is a 4 second delay (it is a good idea to add one or two seconds more than the actual count)
  3. The PIN is 123456
  4. There is a 3 second delay before the service asks for the destination telephone number (again, add another second or two to this count)
  5. The destination telephone number is, including your country’s international access code, 001 886 35 555 555.

Based on the above information, you would enter the following into your G1:


Please note the addition of an extra second to each pause sequence. This mimics the time a person might take to look up the number that follows. Some services might need to have an additional two seconds added, which would look like this:


This technique isn’t limited to calling cards. It can help automate the checking of your home or office voicemail or any other situation where you might need to navigate through voice prompts. Some people use this as a quick and easy way to reach their cellular carrier’s customer service.

Remember that voice prompts sometimes change. What you program today may need to be changed if the sequence of prompts is changed by your carrier.

Christopher Earle has been working as a freelance writer since 1987. He currently lives in the Denver, Colorado area with his wife, son, and their two cats. He has been a fan of open source software for many years.

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  • me

    What about if the calling card requires a pound sign (“#”)or star sign (“*”)?

  • Preston

    I’m getting a “Connection problem or invalid MMI code”.
    I have successfully made the call the old fashion way.

  • Christian Donner

    The Nexus One has both “Pause” and “Wait” on the virtual keyboard’s 2nd screen (press [*#(]). It inserts a “,” for “Pause” and a “;” for “Wait”. A pain, since I have to edit all my contacts and change what used to be a “w” for my T-Mobile Shadow to a “;”, but it works.

    • http://Website Bill

      I can confirm that these characters — “,” (comma) for 1-second pause and “;” (semicolon) for wait/prompt — also work on my Samsung Moment running Android 2.1. “P” and “W”, as another user described, do NOT work — in fact the phone won’t even let me enter those characters into a phone number. It may be that the “,” and “;” characters are part of the Android OS.

  • http://Website ChiefBowWow

    I have a HTC Hero running Android 1.5. Although they don’t explain it well (or at all) in their user manual, HTC’s Sense does have a way for users to insert pauses and wait for an answer. When you click on the phone number field, you’re presented with a keyboard similar to the dialer except there are a couple of additional keys “P” for pause and “W” for wait. “P” will pause before dialing the number you’ve specified, e.g. 222.222.2222P1652P1845785556 and “W” will wait till you’ve got a response from the other side, and then prompt you to ok dialing the next numbers you’ve specified.

    I’m not sure if this is an HTC solution only, or if all Android phones do the same. The Hero is my first Android phone, so i’m not sure if the other Android handsets have this same feature.

  • NG

    I get an error when I dial with the “,” for a second pause – that the number doesnt exist – my HTC desire is taking the whole number and dialling it in one go!

  • Galaxy Dude

    this works on Galaxy S3 (Verizon).