Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What is a HLR Lookup?

A HLR Lookup is a request to a Mobile Operator which can return the current status and the ported information for mobile numbers around the world.

What information is returned with a HLR Lookup?

Where full coverage is available we can tell you the Current Status of your phone numbers alongside the Original Network that the number was assigned to and the Current Network, indicating if the number has been ported.

For LIVE mobile numbers you'll also see the Original and Current MCC MNC (Mobile Country Code and Mobile Network Code), the country prefix, the country ISO code and the number type.

What are the benefits of HLR to my business?

A HLR Lookup can help businesses in many ways.

Knowing the status of your numbers allows you to keep your data clean and contactable, saving you time and keeping costs down when marketing, generating leads or verifying your customers.

Having up to date information on the network operators your customers belong to allows you to utilise least cost routing and provides a valuable insight on the behaviour of your potential customers.

For more information on possible uses of a HLR Lookup take a look at our HLR Lookup use cases.

I’ve lost my phone, can you help me trace it?

No. Our service does not provide the location of any number.

A HLR Lookup can only provide the current status and the network information for your numbers.

Do you use cached results?

All HLR Lookups are performed at the time of your request so all the responses you receive are in real time.

You have the option to use your own Personal Cache (up to 30 days) or our Global Cache (up to 30 days) but this is entirely optional.

We will not use any cached results unless you specifically agree for us to do so. For further information on utilising the cache please take a look in our Knowledge Base

How fast will my results be returned?

Lookups are made in real time to the operator so the majority of the time taken is waiting for the operator to respond to our request.

This means speeds can vary depending on the operator but you should expect to see an average latency on our API of 1.5 seconds and an average batch completion time of 40 minutes per 100,000 numbers.

Can I get the connectivity status for Landline numbers?

Yes if your landline numbers are from the UK or Ireland.

To do this you need to specifically request that you want to obtain the status of your landlines when you send us your number(s).

You can do this when using the API or when uploading your numbers within a file.

What is "Ported Date" and how is that useful?

For 51 different countries (currently) we can provide the last ported date for your numbers that have ported away from their Original Network.

Knowing the ported date can help customers improve their fraud protection methods by combatting an increasing risk known as ‘port-out fraud’. This is where a criminal tries to hijack your number by transferring your number to their own carrier and then uses your number as their own.

As our ported date information is collected daily it makes it easy to notice if a number has recently changed carriers indicating a higher risk of fraud, allowing your customers to manage the situation accordingly.

Knowledge of the ported date information can also be used by networks operators and phone companies that sell or upgrade phone contracts and handsets. Knowing when a customer has last ported their number is valuable information when targeting new mobile phone contract and handset sales, especially for those users that are coming towards the end of their contract.

To access our Ported Date feature you need to specify you want this information when sending us your number(s). You can do this through the API or when uploading a file containing your numbers.

Credits and Billing

Can I have some free credits to test your service?

Sure. If you would like to test our service before purchasing any credits please email info@hlrlookup.comraise a ticket or find us on our live chat and we’ll load some free credits onto your account as soon as we can.

How do the credits work?


We’ll remove one credit from your account for every successful HLR Lookup.

We won’t remove a credit from your account if you check an invalid mobile number. This could be a number that’s too short or too long, a number that doesn’t contain a valid country code or network prefix or a number belonging to a network where we don’t have any coverage.

We cannot perform a HLR Lookup on Landline, VoIP or Pager numbers. Any numbers of these types will not be charged for and we'll tell you the number type identified within the response.

The exception to this is are numbers belonging to the North American Numbering Plan (prefix 1) where one credit will be removed regardless of the number type, assuming the number is valid.


Requesting the status for USA Mobile numbers, ported dates and the status of UK and Ireland Landline numbers will be charged as an additional credit if the number identified meets the correct criteria (i.e it is a USA Mobile number or it is ported and in our ported coverage or it's a valid UK or Ireland Landline number).

For a full list of our charging please visit this page in our Knowledge Base

How long do credits last?

All credits expire 18 months after the purchase date, unless otherwise agreed by email. This means that any unused credits will be removed from the account upon expiry.

It’s important I don’t run out of credit. How can I ensure I stay topped up?

The best way to do this is to activate our Auto Top up facility and we’ll top up your credits automatically when they run low.

Alternatively, you can set up your account to send you an email when your balance drops below a certain level, prompting you add more credits when needed.

Just go to your account settings to turn on either of these options.

What currencies do you accept?

We can take payments in GBP, USD or Euro.

Payments can be made on the site by card payment or if you would require you can contact us to arrange a bank transfer.

As we are UK based we follow the exchange rate against the GBP.

I will need an invoice for my purchase, is this possible?

If you have purchased credits using our online top up facility then an invoice will automatically be generated and can be accessed through the billing section of your account.

If you have made a payment by bank transfer we will have already sent you an invoice containing our bank details which you can use for your records.

Will I be charged VAT?

This depends on where you, or your company are located. You should tell us your location in your account settings as we’ll use this to calculate your VAT requirements.

Can I top up my credits through my account and how long will the credits take to show on my account?

Yes, you can navigate to our top up pages to purchase additional credits. Once the payment has successfully been processed your new credits will be available to use immediately.

How do I purchase more than 1 million credits?

Please get in touch with our team and we’ll organise this for you. We’ll need a few details to include on the invoice and we’ll send this straight over.

Can I pay with Paypal?

We understand using a credit card or organising a bank transfer may not be the most convenient way for you to top up your account.

If you would prefer to pay using Paypal please get in touch with us and we’ll send the details over.

Can’t find the answer you need?

Just send us a message and we’ll get back to you

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