Difference between pause (p) and wait (w) dialing

There are two interesting features in every cellphone that can be use to automate dialing to an automated telephone receiving system. System like this are most often used in help desk, calling card or your home alarm system.Using these two features you don't have to remember your pin code or manually dial the option numbers prompted by the automated system.

Nokia 5800 XM

In Nokia phones, these two functions can be access by pressing the "*" three times for pause (p) and four times for wait (w).

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

In Samsung Galaxy Note 4, these two functions can be access from the drop down menu at the top right of the dialer (3 vertical dots).

pause (p)

Pause stop the dialing for two seconds. For example if you dial "12345p67890", the phone will dial "12345" then pause for 2 seconds. After the two seconds, it will continue to dial the next "67890" sequence. If you need more than two seconds delay, just input another (p) for extra two seconds.

Example: Dialing to a calling card
Create a contact in your phone and input these sequence of numbers.
[Calling Card Center Number]ppp[Card Number + Pin Code]
With these sequence you are dialing to the calling card center. At the same time the automated system at the calling card center will prompt you to enter your card number and pin code. The three (p) will tell the phone to delay six seconds (which i have measured, different system will probably need different amount of delay) then continues to dial the card number plus the pin code.

You can get creative by saving these sequence to your distance family or friends contact number so that you don't have to do the dialing for the rest of the options.
[Calling Card Center Number]ppp[Card Number + Pin Code]ppp[phone number]

wait (w)

Wait works a little bit different from pause. Instead of delay, the phone will wait for you to initiate the next sequence of numbers to dial. In most Nokia phones, to continue dialing the next sequence numbers is to press the call button (green).


28 Sep 2016 :Added a how to for Samsung Galaxy Note 4 phone.


  1. I am using a n86...
    Thank you bro for the info.
    life saver ;-)

  2. You are welcome. These were helpful for me too.

  3. Thanks for this invaluable information. I always wondered what the 'p' and 'w' letters did. Now, I know it.

  4. Thanks for the information. I always wondered what was the use of P and W on a dailing screen.
    Thanks again.


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