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Number Portability or HLR Lookup

An advertisement for a publication about "Number Portability or HLR Lookup" by Fergal Parkinson, featuring a stylized network graphic and the TMT ID logo.

Knowing When To Use Number Portability or HLR Lookup

When you use a particular term all the time, it’s easy to forget that the person you are talking to might not have the same understanding that you do. A recent discussion at a conference with a potential customer about their need for Home Location Registry (HLR) queries revealed that actually, they didn’t necessarily need HLR at all, and our Velocity Number Portability (NP) product is even more suitable. Number Portability checks use our own database, which depending upon the country is updated every day with new porting movements. If your use case is to find the correct network to send a voice call/SMS message to, taking user movement between networks into account, then a simple NP check is cheaper, faster (because it uses on-net data) and can even be more accurate.

Many customers see HLR as being more accurate because it is a ‘live’ check, but this might not always be the case, as data can be cached and depending upon the country HLR may not always be available for every network operator.  But, if you are looking for other attributes such as live status or roaming status, then it is absolutely the right technology.

As ever, it’s our job to give people the best advice that we can, and if you are curious about what the best technology is for you, you can sign up for the TMT Analysis portal free of charge and see what the response for both the Live (HLR) and Velocity (NP) against a given number are. Or, speak to one of our team who’d be happy to help!

Speak to us today about how TMT Analysis can help your business

What is a HLR Lookup?

A Home Location Register (HLR) Lookup is a process used in the telecommunications industry to determine the current status and mobile network information of a subscriber’s phone number. The HLR is a centralsed database that stores essential details about mobile subscribers, including their subscriber profile, current location, and network-related information.

During an HLR Lookup, a request is sent to the HLR database to retrieve information about a specific mobile number. This information can include the current mobile network operator (MNO) associated with the number, the status of the subscriber (active, inactive, etc.), roaming status, and other network-related details.

Businesses and service providers use HLR Lookup for various purposes, such as:

Number validation: Verifying the validity and accuracy of phone numbers to ensure they are active and reachable.

Number portability check: Determining if a phone number has been ported to a different network operator.

Routing optimisation: Optimising SMS or voice call routing based on the current network operator of the subscriber.

Fraud prevention: Detecting and preventing fraudulent activities by cross-referencing subscriber information with the HLR database.

Marketing and targeting: Tailoring marketing campaigns and promotions based on the network operator or location of the mobile subscribers.

By leveraging HLR Lookup services, businesses can improve the efficiency of their communication processes, enhance customer engagement, and ensure the accuracy of their database information. It provides valuable insights into the status and details of mobile subscribers, enabling businesses to make informed decisions and deliver targeted services effectively.

What is number portability?

A Number Portability Routing Check, also known as NP Routing Check, is a process used to verify the routing information for a ported phone number.

When a mobile phone number is ported from one network operator to another, the routing of calls and messages needs to be updated to ensure they reach the correct network. NP Routing Check is performed by network operators to confirm that the routing information has been correctly updated after a number porting process.

During an NP Routing Check, the network operator checks the database records or routing tables to verify if the phone number has been successfully ported and to update the routing information accordingly. This ensures that any incoming calls or messages to the ported number are directed to the new network operator rather than the previous one.

By conducting an NP Routing Check, network operators can prevent calls or messages from being misrouted or lost during the number porting process. It helps to ensure the seamless transfer of services to the new network operator, allowing subscribers to retain their phone number while maintaining uninterrupted communication.

NP Routing Check is an important step in the number porting process to guarantee the accuracy and effectiveness of call routing for ported numbers.

By Neil Downing, VP of Products at TMT ID

Last updated on March 20, 2024


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What Our Customers Are Saying

"BTS (Business Telecommunications Services) is successfully using TMT’s Velocity and Live services to check the status of mobile numbers. This way we make sure we optimize the performance of the service offered to our customers and ensure the quality of terminating traffic to all countries.”

Business Telecommunications Services

"TMT is a valued partner that enables us to manage our routing costs effectively. They proactively and continuously expand their operator and country coverage while delivering exceptional customer service. We can always count on them to achieve high-quality results and look forward to our continued collaboration."

Global Message Service

"TMT provides us with the most comprehensive numbering intelligence data through their fast and reliable Velocity and Live services. TMT is a trusted partner for us, their products ensure that we continue to optimise the best performance and service to our customers."

Global Voice

"TeleShield from TMT gives 42com the power to detect and target telephony fraud scams internationally, thereby protecting our company from the financial and customer experience impacts of telecommunications fraud."

Alberto Grunstein - CEO

"It has been a pleasure to work with the team at TMT. They have become an essential provider of accurate numbering data information and Number Portability services globally."

Luisa Sanchez - VP of SMS and Messaging Solutions, Identidad Technologies

"Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier uses TMT ID as one of their key suppliers for Mobile Number Portability Data services. Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier uses TMT ID’s Velocity MNP solution. This is an ultra-fast query service that optimises the routing of international voice calls and A2P messaging."

Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier

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