Number validation: which lookup type suits you best?

Find out which of our number validation products suits your needs.

The success of your SMS dispatch depends on the numbers of your recipients in great parts. In addition to the correct format, the validity, porting and roaming status are of particular interest when you want to send messages to your recipients. Basically, we therefore recommend all customers to validate their contacts once with the HLR query before they start sending SMS. Especially in marketing, it is also advisable to repeat this validation regularly. However, we offer other number validation products that you can use for different purposes. The term validation is to be seen in a broader sense: With our queries, you validate one or more specific pieces of information associated with the number in question. Which product offers you which advantages and what can you use them for? Let’s have a look.

HLR lookup

HLR stands for Home Location Register. The HLR is a database in mobile networks that stores information about the mobile phone numbers registered in the network. Some of this information can be queried with the HLR lookup. It is not a surprise that HLR lookup is the most popular product for number validation, because it entails almost all the information you can get on a number. Not only do you find out which network operator the number is assigned to, but also whether it is ported, whether it is roaming, and whether it is reachable. You also get more information about the number as well as information about the network operator and roaming.

HLR is also used in our webapp when a number validation is requested in your contact book at the top right via the More and Validate list button. Here, however, only the result of the validation is displayed in the webapp, not the complete results of an HLR query.

So you can use the HLR lookup both through our webapp and through our API. While you get comprehensive information via the API, the HLR lookup in the webapp is used to directly display the validity of the number. The current costs for HLR lookups can be found in our price list.

With the number validation you can see which numbers are valid directly in the webapp.

The validity of the numbers can be seen in the webapp after the validation process.

What can you use the HLR lookup for?

HLR query is suitable for many scenarios and is one of our most popular number validation products. As mentioned before, we recommend to verify all contacts once via HLR lookup before sending the first SMS. If you need additional information, such as porting status or roaming status, you can also get it with an HLR lookup via our API.

By the way: If you regularly sort out invalid numbers, you even save money thanks to number validation via HLR, because you do not regularly waste credit on numbers that no longer exist.

The right choice if:

  • You are sending SMS to contacts for the first time or have added many new contacts.
  • You need as much information as possible because you are building your database from scratch.
  • You need as much information as possible about your already existing recipient numbers.
  • You need to know if the number is roaming at the current time.

Your JSON return contains:

Info about the number:

  • Number in international format E.164
  • Number in international format
  • Number in national format
  • Country Code ISO 3166-1 alpha-2
  • Country Code ISO 3166-1 alpha-3
  • Name of the country (in English)
  • Country code (e.g.: 49)
  • Porting status
  • Current network operator, Original network operator
  • Validity of the number
  • Accessibility of the number
  • Roaming
  • GSM code
  • GSM message
  • Lookup outcome/message

Info about network operator:

  • Network code
  • Name
  • Country
  • Network type

Roaming info:

  • Query status
  • Roaming country code
  • Roaming network code
  • Roaming network name

CNAM lookup

CNAM stands for Caller Name Delivery, a service with which the caller ID of a number can be queried. This name is registered with the provider and then displayed on capable recipient telephones.
Companies use the CNAM lookup, for example, to display the caller ID behind the calling number for incoming calls. This gives them an idea of who is calling before they even pick up the phone. However, you can also use the query to expand your database.

Please note: The CNAM query does not always return a company name. It may also return a location, network operator or other information because different databases are queried if the first query is unsuccessful.

You can use the CNAM lookup via our API. Please find the current costs for CNAM lookups in our price list.

What can you use the CNAM lookup for?

Our customers most often use the CNAM lookup to display names on incoming calls or to add information to their existing contacts.

The right choice if:

  • You want to display the caller ID of an incoming call’s number.
  • You want to add the caller ID of the respective number to your database.

Your return contains:

  • Success status and status code
  • Number
  • Name (i.e. the Caller ID, max. 15 characters)

MNP lookup

MNP stands for Mobile Number Portability. Our MNP lookup queries the porting status of the respective number, i.e. whether a number has been ported (i.e. “taken along”) during a provider change. The MNP lookup is mainly used for routing SMS and calls. You can choose whether you want the result of the MNP lookup to be returned as a simple response or as JSON.

You can use the MNP lookup via our API. Here, too, you will find the current costs in our price overview.

What can you use the MNP query for?

Query porting to send your messages with best possible routing. This is especially interesting if you send a lot of bulk SMS or other messages in high capacities to different phone numbers.

The right choice if:

  • You want to optimize your routing.
  • You need to know the network operator of a number for another reason.

Your return contains:

  • Short name of the German network operator or reference to international number.

or in JSON:

  • Number
  • Number in international format
  • Number in national format
  • Network operator
  • MCCMNC
  • Porting status

Number format lookup

With the number format lookup you can query the national and international format, the country and the country code of a number and display the current network provider. However, the format query does not provide information about the porting status of the number.
Please note: The format lookup provides data based on the nature of the number that you enter.
No database is queried here. This mans: If you enter incorrect data, you will get incorrect information back.

You can use the format query via our API at no additional cost if you’re a customer.

What can you use the format lookup for?

The number format lookup helps you to keep your database clear and consistent.

The right choice, if:

  • You want to make sure all your data is consistent.

Your return contains:

  • Number in national format
  • Number in international format E.164
  • Number in international format
  • Country name (in English)
  • Country Code
  • Country Code ISO 3166-1 alpha-2
  • Network operator

Which number validation suits you?

So, in summary, which of our lookup products suits you best depends on what exactly you want to achieve with the lookup.

If you need comprehensive information or want to validate your contacts directly in our webapp, go for our HLR lookup.

If you are primarily interested in the network operator of the number, you are well advised to use the MNP lookup. You will get less information, but the MNP lookup is cheaper.

The CNAM lookup will help you primarily if you want to verify the caller ID of an incoming number or add caller IDs to your database.

If you just want to make your database consistent, opt for the number format lookup, which is available to our customers at no extra cost. Since no database is queried here, you should not blindly rely on the rest of the data if you want to use it.

You are still not sure which product is best suited for your use case? Send us a message and we will help you figure out what you need.

All the best
Your sms77 team

Header: iStock.com/Dilok Klaisataporn, edited color

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