4.6 Free minutes option

Basic description

With Firmware 3.5x only!

Free minutes option allows user to control amount of minutes used for four groups of operators in one month period. The user than knows, if performed calls are included in free minutes bundle, or if he has to pay extra price for it. Calls for extra price can be disabled. All setting done by customer is accessible by DTMF setting.

Setting of prefixes (operators) in four banks can be changed using PCManager. This setting, the amount of free minutes in every bank and rules for time counting are preset from factory. 

Programming of parameters is done the same way like programming of all other gateway parameters. To change free minutes option parameters, you can either:

  • Use the DTMF programming on a telephone line. There are parameters, which can be programmed using telephone line based programming with password access as described in part 3.1 and commands with direct access, used the same way as command for configuration of network services as described in part 4.1.
  • Use a PC with the PCManager installed.

Parameters – password access

Call with empty bank permitted (Function No.: 310)

The call with empty Bank is either disabled or permitted. When the bank is empty, you hear after dial refusing tone. With call disabled is followed by Busy tone and the call can’t be established. With call permitted you can hang up the call, otherwise the call is established and charged.

Setting options:    0/1 (disabled / permitted)

Default setting:    0

Date for automatic refill (Function No.: 311)

The day in month, when all four banks of free minutes will be refilled with predefined values. The refilling is done in time 00:00:01 of selected day. When the date for refill doesn't exist (31. 2.), the refill is done first day after this date (1. 3.).

Setting options:    0–31 (0 – function off)

Default setting:    0

Next automatic refill – information field

Minutes available till the end of billing period.

Free minutes (Function No.: 32x)

The number of minutes that will be used to refill banks. The selection x is 1 to 4, according to bank number.

Setting options:    0–65535

Default setting:    0

Initial time (Function No.: 33x)

Initial time interval in seconds, which is charged for every call, although the call is shorter. The selection x is 1 to 4, according to bank number.

Setting options:    0–255

Default setting:    0

Time step (Function No.: 34x)

The minimal time interval to be counted (for example 60 seconds means, that after initial call time every beginning minute will be counted). The selection x is 1 to 4, according to bank number.

Setting options:    0–255

Default setting:    0

Remaining minutes – information field                                 

Minutes available till the end of billing period

Commands – direct access

Setting of the date and time                                                     

The time and date is set according to information from GSM (UMTS) network, if this service is in network supported. When the service is not accessible, the user has to set the time when the gateway is first used or switched off for longer time period (there is backup for clock, which supports correct clock for approximately 10 hours without power).

When the time is to be set, the user is informed about this fact by additional short tone before dial tone. The LED network after connecting to network shines discontinuously (short breaks in shining).

Code for setting:  *06*YYMMDDhhmm#


YY:           year

MM:         month

DD:          day in month

hh:           hour

mm:         minute

When the date is valid, the confirmation - OK is generated

otherwise there is there confirmation – bad.


Refill now                                                                                      

The command is intended for refilling of free minutes banks with predefined values (free minutes) manually just now. This command is to be used for initialization or for manual handling of system.

 Code for setting: *07#

The confirmation: OK is generated

Setting of free minutes option – PCManager

All parameters, which can be set up by DTMF can be set up by PCManager too. There is page in PCManager – Call table – Free minutes bank for this setting.

Free minutes bank – PCManager only                                              

In Call table – FXS routing table is added column “Free minutes bank”.

Called numbers can be associated to one of four groups (bank). All calls to numbers in the same bank are handled the same way according to free minutes counting rules specific for bank. This table is usually preset by supplier.

Setting options:    0–4 (0 – no bank selected, free minutes inactive)

Default setting:    0

Time setting                                                                                 

In Monitor you can check the actual time on PC and on Gateway

There are two commands for time setting in Monitor:

Synchronize to PC: The time in gateway is set according to actual time on PC

Manual setting: Setting date and time manually

Using Free minutes option – step by step 

  1. If your gateway is preset by supplier to be used with some billing scheme, you can continue with step 6.
  2. Collect all information about billing scheme you use from your operator.
  3.  You have to set parameters by PCManager. Connect the gateway to your PC by serial cable and to power by adapter. When the gateway is connected to network, you can set it by PCManager.
  4.  Set the table “FXS routing table”. Prefixes for different operators and Free minutes bank should be used to divide calls to groups. The maximal amount of groups – banks is 4. The maximal number of prefixes is 20 (number of lines in table).
  5. Set the table “Free minutes bank”. You have to decide, if call with empty bank will be permitted. Than fill the day, when the billing period starts. Finally fill the table with rules for free minutes bank according to your operator billing.
  6. Set local prefix for fixed line, dependent on place where the gateway is used.
  7.  Set the actual time, either by PCManager – monitor or by DTMF direct access. When the time information is provided by network, this step is not required.
  8. If you have actually full amount of free minutes, you can use command “Refill now”.
  9. The gateway is now registering your calls and counting free minutes from operator.
  10. When the gateway is switched off for more than 5 hours and the time information is not provided by network, you have to check, if the time is set (see setting of the date and time).
  11. Information about state of used free minutes is saved in memory independent on power. This information is actualized after every call.


  • The free minutes counting is intended to give information to user about the state of his free minutes account. For billing is the registration done by operator valid. When the difference between operator evidence and free minutes counting occur, the billing is done according operator accounting.