Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) codes
If you enter a code that at least ends in a hash sign (and press
) and is not recognized by the phones MMI parser, the code will be sent to the network verbatim. It then depends on the network if this code is supported. One of the most used cases is a code for prepaid cards to check your balance. Many networks use something like *#100#. But it is really the choice of the network operator which code to use as long as it not already taken.
So entering *20*1234# or *21*1234# would do two completely different things: The first code would be sent as-is to the network for further processing (most likely returning an error), while the second code would be parsed by the phone and a structured request for activation of call forwarding would be sent to the network.