by October 12, 2002 0 comments



Here are some ways to manage calls on your cellphone. But, remember that even if your handset supports these features, you’ll need to check whether your service provider supports them, and thereby subscribe to it. 

Consider this. You are traveling and get an official call, for which you need to reach an important decision urgently. It’s an important decision, so you need to consult your other colleagues who are sitting in different offices across the country. This is where conference calling comes into the picture. You would also need to have the call-waiting feature enabled on your handset to make use of conferencing. 

Another feature on cellphones is call holding, which once subscribed to, beeps if you are in a call and have another incoming call. You can receive the waiting call or even switch between the two calls. 

Call barring is used to restrict certain incoming/outgoing calls. For this, the phone needs to be registered with the network service provider while updating/checking the status of the call-barring service. For example, you can choose to bar all outgoing international calls or incoming roaming calls. Another feature is called ‘Barred dialing’, which bars all phone numbers pre-programmed in
the SIM. 

Battery talk
Three types of batteries are used in
cellphones: Nickel Cadmium (NiCD), Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) or Lithium Ion
(LiON). The first is the cheapest and most widely used. But repeated charging without complete discharging can damage them (termed the ‘memory effect’). NiMH batteries use a newer technology and offer up to 30% more charge capacity then NiCD ones. They are also less susceptible to memory effect. However, the latest and the best are the Lithium Ion batteries. They are lighter, smaller, and offer the same capacities as NiMH batteries. They are also immune to the ‘memory effect’.

Call-divert or forwarding is another service that can be put to various uses. Imagine the situation where your handset is running low on battery and you are expecting an important call. You can activate call divert and forward all calls to another number.

You can also use call divert to let your voice mailbox handle all your incoming calls. Note, however, that in this case, call charges for incoming and toll charges for fixed phone service would be applicable. 

The good thing about the call-forwarding facility is that even if your cellphone doesn’t have a specific menu option for call diverting or call waiting, you can access these features using codes specified by your cellular operator. For example, if you are on the Hutch network in Delhi, you can activate unconditional call waiting by using the following sequence of codes (assuming that you have already subscribed to the service):

**21*<number>#

Press ‘Dial’ after this to activate the service. To deactivate, ##21# followed by ‘Dial’. All these codes and other codes for conditional forwarding, call-waiting activation and deactivation, etc, are also available with a new cellphone connection or on the website www.hutch.co.in. The same sequence is also applicable for
Airtel. 

All phone handsets come with call meters. Cellphone networks give your current billing information using an IVR if you dial into their helpline numbers. However, a little effort on your part can do the same directly on your handset. Call meters record total call durations for incoming and outgoing calls. You can feed in the tariff charges for calls and let your handset calculate your bill. Also, it is recommended to reset your call meters on the first day of your billing cycle. In this manner, you can cross check the service providers’ bill against your own total call times. 

Ashish Sharma

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