What is pulse (dialing)? Definition and usage

LAST UPDATE: August 30th, 2018

Pulse dialing is when a push button phone uses a ticking noise to dial a call. It is an emulation of the rotary method of dialing from older phones.

Definition

Pulse dialing is a dialing method used to emulate a rotary dial phone.

You can find it on push-button phones as an alternative to touch-tone dialing.

Pulse dialing produces some clicks on the phone line. The clicks are unique to the pressed number. The button ‘3’ will produce three clicks, the button ‘9’ will produce nine clicks, and ‘0’ will produce ten clicks.

Usage

Almost all of today’s phone networks use “tone” dialing (emitting a different sounding beep for each button). However, most networks are still compatible with the rotary/pulse method.

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