Reducing messaging costs: real-time number discovery and lookup

Heba Eid.

By Heba Eid

3 min read
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Every day businesses send millions of messages to their customers, be it transactional messages, promotional messages, or verification messages. And every day millions of messages never reach their intended recipient. Why? It may simply be a wrong number, a ported number, a number that's no longer being used, a landline, or a VoIP number - costing businesses and resulting in unhappy customers. Real-time number lookup is a surefire way to ensure the deliverability of messages and reduce unnecessary costs, thereby increasing the efficiency of business communication.

What is Number Lookup?

Number lookup is a service that provides real-time insight on phone numbers by querying a central database. The intelligence provided includes the validity and status of the phone number, the country and mobile network the number is associated with, as well as portability and roaming information.


There are two variations of the number lookup service:

  • Mobile Number Portability (MNP) Lookup
  • Home Location Register (HLR) Lookup

What is Mobile Number Portability (MNP) lookup service?

Before we delve into what it means to route by MNP, we need first to understand what ported numbers are. All cell numbers across the globe are assigned on a prefix basis, where a prefix is assigned to a specific operator - with the exception of North America. The routing of messages depends on prefix identification and accordingly, the mapping to the relative network. While most numbers are prefix-based, there's a percentage of ported numbers; subscribers who switched from one network to the other.


What are the benefits of using Number Lookup?

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