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Makin? the singles

They couldn?t have imagined this utility of the CLI (caller-line identification) facility ? The missed call advantage! Mobile companies can go swoon.
None | By TARUN Subhash
PUBLISHED ON MAR 31, 2006 12:17 AM IST

They couldn’t have imagined this utility of the CLI (caller-line identification) facility — The missed call advantage! Mobile companies can go swoon.

One in everry five calls made from a cellphone during the day is a ‘missed call’ according to a report by Cell Operators’ Association of India! But that’s the whole charm of it. Like the meeting of glances and everything being said, though nothing spoken, the missed call culture (MCC) is here to stay.

Most teenagers rely on pre-paid cards. They have to balance these cards on limited budgets yet, at the same time, send loads of messages, play games, download ringtones and wallpapers. Missed calls help them save on talktime – a precious commodity indeed. Very often, a group of people who are supposed to meet at a particular place choose to signal that they have reached by giving a missed call, rather than making a full call or sending an SMS. The idea is to avoid paying for a call or an SMS. If a missed call can convey the message, why waste even a buck?

Add to that the fact that one of the persons being called has a company-paid phone then, a missed call simply would mean that he return the call!!!

The MCC has students, teenagers, young couples and the unemployed hooked on.

“It is also a need-based utility,” claims young boy Amritesh. He feels giving a missed call to someone is quite justified. “If the person calls you back, he or she cares for you, if not then, you can call him again and finally talk!”

The missed-call club is usually a small bunch of friends who assign their own special codes to the number of missed calls or even bursts of sets of two missed calls or some such innovative combination. For example, one missed call can mean ‘I am missing you’, two can mean ‘I love you’, three can signal ‘I am home’ and short bursts of missed calls… ‘Want to talk to you. Please call’!

What with assigned ringtones, the bunch members don’t even need to look at the cellphone screen to find out who gave them ‘the blink’. Needless to add, the codes keep changing… rather evolving.

Houseswives make the best use of the missed call ammo with which to keep track of their husbands. Amit Raheja, a senior executive in a MNC, confesses how, recently, when he was at a stag party enjoying his drinks the frequent missed calls from his wife kept him alert as if he was at the end of a remote control.

On the other hand, checking the missed call register on their husband’s cell phone is also a good past-time for wives! At times this can throw up some ‘great discoveries’.

Speaking of keeping tabs, those in the sales and marketing say, at times their clients give them missed calls and it becomes compulsory to return the call lest they lose a client.

Giving a missed call is also a way to tease someone, grins Nitin, an entrepreneur. He gave missed calls to a couple of his friends while waiting for a train in the middle of the night!

To make it more interesting, you can call from a different number so that the identity cannot be revealed. For such purposes, PCOs, government offices and other public utility numbers are frequently used, he says, adding in the same breath, but don’t forget the line where this simple fun ends and harassment begins.

Rather, you can poke a pin in the fun by being smart enough to answer the cell on the first ring itself and lo! your friend will have to end up talking to you! It’s another matter, the nasty vote you will earn on the circuit. Then, there’s the free outgoing club. If you’ve got a postpaid and you pay for calls but the person you call doesn’t, because of a free postpaid service, a missed call for a return ring Is the done thing among family members.

But any which way, there’s nothing like cell-ing the fun with missed calls or calls made all the way.

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