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Why is ring time capped at 30 seconds?

Level 1: Joiner
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I've known for a while that the maximum time you can set your phone to ring for before it goes to Voicemail is 30 seconds, but Which says "...most providers set a cap at 30 seconds.".


I wondered if anyone knows a) whether this is really a provider imposed limit (i.e. Network or Service provider) and b) whether it is longer in other parts of the world. and c) why would they set such a low limit anyway?


My issue is with elderly relatives, who often take more than 30 seconds to get to the phone, take it out, and find the correct button to press to answer the call. It would be nice if there were a 60 second option for some users.

Message 1 of 11

Level 94: Supreme
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I've always thought the same which is why I turn off voicemail so I'm not restricted in the time I have to answer.

I have no affiliation whatsoever with O2 or any subsidiary companies. Comments posted are entirely of my own opinion. This is not Customer Service so we are unable to help with account specific issues.

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Message 2 of 11

Level 94: Supreme
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It seems to be standard practice in the UK but I'm not sure about other providers in other parts of the world simply because it's not something I've had issues with.

The only way to get the ring time longer than 30 seconds would be to sawtooth voicemail off altogether.

Guide: All you need to know about O2 Voicemail 901 

Message 3 of 11

Level 66: Unequalled
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The time was written into the GSM standards which were adopted by most countries. UK and Europe certainly use these and many other countries around the world.

Answer is for them to switch off Voicemail and use the Missed call alert – you can have this instead of voicemail. We'll send you a text to say that you missed a call, if the caller couldn't get through 

This is not O2 and we are all customers here similar to yourself and cannot answer account type queries.
Message 4 of 11

Level 1: Joiner
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Thanks All. I found using the missed call alerts seemed to also have a limit of around 30 seconds, but switching off voicemail and missed calls DID give an extended ring time. My Mum is on Talk Mobile so I'll see whether their settings work in a similar way to O2's.

Message 5 of 11

Not applicable

Hi @Palazzo  I was interested to read your post about Voicemail's length of time the phone rings. I too would prefer a 50 -60 second amount of time to answer the call before Voicemail cuts in. The maximum length is 30 seconds, I suppose the idea being that your mobile is on your persons and you answer the call quicker, than if it was a phone in another room.


You say you also use Call Alert. I too have set this up on one of my phones, but the default length is about 15 seconds. Do you know how to make Call Alert ring for 30 seconds, the same as Voicemail. What did you do to increase the length of Call Alert to 30 seconds?

Message 6 of 11

Level 16: Talkative
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@Anonymous See this for lengthening your ringtime or indeed just turning off voicemail

Guide:How to Lengthen Ringtime on any O2 Mobile 

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Message 7 of 11

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Hi @Anonymous. Call alert was suggested above, but, like you, I found this also had a limited ring time.


The only solution seems to be to switch off voicemail and call alerts and then it seems to ring for well over 30 seconds, but I haven't let it ring out to find out the maximum time.


Switching off voicemail on Talk Mobile also seems to have worked to give an extended ring time. 

Message 8 of 11

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I had the same issue with call notifications so in the end had to switch off both voicemail and notifications.


After that the ring lasts well over 30 seconds but haven't tested the maximum time.


This worked on Talk Mobile too. 

Message 9 of 11

Not applicable

If you go into Call Settings on your phone there should be a Call Divert or Call Forwarding option. You go into that, in 'Divert Calls if not answered' or similar you can set the length of time the phone rings before Voicemail answers, but the maximum length is 30 seconds I'm afraid. Unless 02 changes its ringtime policy it looks like you either get the full 30 seconds with Voicemail active or a much longer length of time when Voicemail is switched off. 


I don't know how long the phone rings with Voicemail switched off, but it is well over a minute. I imagine after a long time it would click off but no one would be able to leave a message and you wouldn't get a Call Alert text to say someone had called.


I think you are better off with Voicemail or Call Alert active. It may ring for 30 seconds but at least you would know if anyone has called.


Also with Voicemail active, there is a Call Alert option in Voicemail settings, so it is possible to have Voicemail AND Call Alert active at the same time. The Call Alert option is in Voicemail settings. I have Voicemail active on my phone and if anyone calls without leaving a message, when mobile is switched off, I also get a Call Alert text telling me so.





Message 10 of 11