I one of the previous companies I worked the IT department rolled out an internal phone router so they can save money on cell phone calls. The system required you to dial a 4 digit access number, wait for dial tone and then dial the number using DTMF tones.
Beside the weird feeling of hearing a dial tone on a cell phone this required some drastic measures on my phonebook. Each entry in it had to be duplicate having one without the system access code for caller ID to work and any roaming calls and the second with the access code accomplished with couple of "p” for pauses.
Windows Mobile to the rescue
When first switch to Windows Mobile it was at 2005 with HP6315 which was the first phone “’iPaq” that HP released. It was originally released exclusively to US T-Mobile customers and couple of months later the rest of the world received the HP6365 as non locked PDA phone (It was sold even in Israel by BUG Computers) or the HP6345 that lack the camera (for all dues high security places).
The PDA was running under Windows Mobile 2003 Phone Edition which was the first mature Microsoft product aim for the cellular market, It had basic phone functionality that lack features that every basic Nokia phone knew how to perform (save incoming call number to address book….).
Dialling Rules – The hidden feature
With all of that it had the “Dialling Rules” feature that come directly from Microsoft desktop OS. This feature still exist in current versions of Windows Mobile (Windows Mobile Professional Edition, versions 5.0/6.0/6.1 and even the up-coming 6.5).
The problem with this feature is its visibility, If you are not aware of its existence you won’t find it. This post comes to light it out of the shadows.
Start/Settings/System/Connections – Advance
Once we figure out how to get to this hidden applet we can see the “Dialing Rules” button. Clicking it allows us to enable/disable the feature.
When enabling we receive a warning message telling us that all our contacts need to be in ‘Correct country/region and area codes’.
I wrote another post about how to set a ‘correct’ phone number entry, If you are not familiar with the subject read it also.
We Are Almost Done
Having an neat and arranged address book, Yes it has the first time cleanup overhead but once it is done you are in the green. Saving new contact in the ‘correct’ format become a second nature and you never find yourself coping phone numbers to a piece of paper so you can dial them with extra prefixes.
It is very easy to use the dialing rules mechanism for any IT telephony scenario and save time. I find it very useful in roaming cases where I need to do some type of prefix dialing in order to save some $