HLR lookup

Table of Contents

How to check if a phone number is valid? Meet the HLR lookup! The Home Location Register service allows you to check contacts in your database against the information provided by the GSM operators. By excluding inactive numbers, you can lower the costs of SMS communication and marketing. Check how to use HLR!

HLR – what is it?

The Home Location Register lookup, or HLR in short, is a database containing information about mobile network subscribers. It contains all numbers and additional information about them, e.g. whether the number has been transferred to another network.

The HLR lookup is one of the services available to all SMSAPI customers. It allows you to validate your mobile subscriber data. Checking a phone number is easy: access the SMSAPI Customer Panel, go to the Additional functions menu and select Check number – HLR.

How does HLR phone number lookup work?

After sending a request from the SMSAPI Customer Panel, the system compares the IMSI number stored in the Home Location Register (HLR) with that assigned to the SIM card. This allows for quick and reliable identification of the subscriber of the cellular network.

You can check which network a number is registered to or upload a file with the entire database. Whether you test the numbers individually or all at once, the Check number – HLR page will provide complete information about your subscriber information validity.

Check number HLR lookup
HLR service in the SMSAPI Customer Panel

Files with a larger number of records may take longer to check. The page is refreshed automatically, and if you want, you can set an SMS notification informing you about the completion.

How to read the HLR status?

  • Status – describes if a number is active or not; “In progress” – means that the number is not checked yet
  • MCC – Mobile Country Code
  • MNC – Mobile Network Code
  • Information – information if the number is active and to which network it belongs
    • Orange – a name of a network where a number belongs
    • Number inactive – a number has been disabled by the operator
    • Number offline – a number was not logged in to the network for some time
    • CALL_BARRED – a number has restricted incoming and/or outgoing calls/SMS
    • HLR_ABORT – no response from HLR
    • HLR_LOCAL_CANCEL – no response from HLR
    • TELESERVICE_NOT_PROVISIONED – SMS service inactive or sim card unregistered
  • Ported – shows if a number is ported from one network to another

You can view active and inactive numbers in the Customer Panel or download the report. The SMSAPI HLR tool also works from the API through the REST API interface.

Is the HLR legal?

Yes, it is legal to check phone numbers with HLR because the data provided by GSM networks is public. And, of course, the system is GDPR compliant as well.

How to use HLR in communication with customers?

The Home Location Register (HLR) system is a popular solution among customer service platforms. Regular checkups of numbers before calls increase the effectiveness of customer contact centres. For obvious reasons, the debt collection industry often uses HLR number checking.

Is SMS marketing cost-effective?

Remove inactive records from your contact database to lower the cost and boost the effectiveness of SMS marketing.

What are the benefits of HLR?

HLR means a lower telephone and SMS communication cost with the brand’s customers. With HLR, you interact only with active mobile subscribers. Not only does this save money on bulk SMS messaging, but it also reduces the time needed to validate phone numbers manually.

No incorrect numbers in the contact database increase the efficiency and ROI of the SMS campaign. In other words, you don’t waste money on deliveries to inactive or invalid numbers. You can be sure that your messages reach customers’ phones.

How often do I check numbers in HLR?

We recommend running your database tests regularly. This way, you can be sure that you are writing to the right audience. An important signal that may suggest the need to check the base in HLR is the decrease in the conversion of mass SMS messages.

How much is HLR?

The lookup costs €0.006 per number (local price might vary). See the complete SMSAPI Pricing. If you have more numbers in your database that you would like to check – write to us, and we will adjust the offer to your needs.