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DTMF is an acronym for Dual Tone Multi Frequency, a signalling method using two different simultaneous tones.

On a touch tone telelphone, there are four unique tones for the rows of keys, along with four unique tones for each column of keys. When a key is pressed, the column tone and the row tones are generated at the same time to indicate to the central office the desired digit.

While seemingly complicated at first glance, it allows the central office to reject invalid key combinations, such as pressing '1' and '2', or '1' and '5' at the same time.

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