Were you recently on the phone with someone for at least a few hours, and noticed that your phone automatically hung up?
Perhaps it hung up at exactly 2, 4 or 8 hours, down to almost the second.
What would cause this, and is there any way to solve it? It turns out, there is!
In this article, I’ll discuss how. First however, let’s look over why it actually happens in the first place.
1. It’s A Requirement Put In Place By Your Carrier
Chances are, the hanging up that you’re experiencing is completely normal.
Most carriers (like AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint) have limits put in place for how long calls actually last. Once those limits are reached, the call automatically disconnects, and you will need to call the other person back in order to resume it.
This is because for most people, there is little practical reason to have a call last 8 hours. For normal calls, an extremely small percentage come even close to lasting this long.
So, the carrier disconnects the call in case the call was left on by mistake – for example, two people both set their phones down, and forgot about it.
This not only helps them (which I’ll discuss in a moment), but can also help preserve your battery, or avoid additional service charges if you have limited minutes on your plan.
See, it’s not all bad!
Note: Even if your own carrier doesn’t automatically disconnect calls, the other person’s may – if they use a different carrier than you do.
2. It Avoids Tying Up Carrier Resources
Calls cost your cellular provider money – which is why for a long time, most people only had a certain amount of minutes they were allowed to use on calls each month.
The thing is, it makes no difference whether or not you’re actively talking the entire time, or the phone is sitting there in complete silence – it costs the same amount to the carrier.
Additionally, each person actively using the network puts additional stress on their systems, including their local cellular towers.
So, disconnecting calls that last too long helps prevent system resources being used unnecessarily, ensuring better performance for other users.
This is particularly important if cell towers at at or near capacity – they can actually handle a lot less simultaneous calls than you might think!
3. Calls Automatically Disconnect If No Sound Is Detected
Finally, cellular providers may disconnect the call even quicker if no sound is detected from either phone.
While your providers don’t listen on your phone calls, cellular specialists have told us that carriers may disconnect calls if no sound is detected after many hours of being on the phone.
Again, this is likely to avoid tying up system resources, and degrading performance for other users.
So, if the call is completely silent (it’s disconnecting while you’re sleeping, for example), this can be the reason why – even if it’s not exactly at the 2, 4 or 8 hour mark.
What To Do Instead, To Prevent Your Phone From Hanging Up Automatically
Because your phone calls are being disconnected by the carrier (and not anything that you or the other caller has done), there is unfortunately nothing you can do to prevent it from happening.
However, this only applies to traditional phone calls, that go through your carrier’s network.
You can bypass this limit – and partake in calls much longer than 8 hours by using an internet-based calling service such as FaceTime, Facebook, or Skype.
These services do not place limits on the length of the calls you partake in, making it possible to be on the call for much longer than what your cellular provider would allow.
So, if you’re someone that likes to be on the phone all day or all night long, using something like FaceTime is a great alternative – even if you don’t ever intend to use the video features.
For more information, see: How Long Can A FaceTime Call Last? Is There A Limit? (Answered + Details)
Note: FaceTime can drain your iPhone or iPad’s battery quite quickly, so you’ll want to take steps to prevent this – otherwise, the FaceTime call may still end if you run out of battery!
Calls that last a significant period of time may be automatically ended by the carrier, in order to avoid tying up resources on their network.
However, if you want to remain on calls for longer than 8 hours without interruptions, it’s recommended to use internet-based calling services like FaceTime or Skype instead.
I hope that you’ve found this article helpful, and it’s answered all of your questions.
If you have any other questions about really long phone calls or there’s anything I can clarify for you, just let me know via the comment form below.
Wishing you the best,
– James McAllister