With the introduction of our new HLR Lookup APIv2, I would like to take the time to explore one of its new features ‘number porting’ in more detail.
Not only is HLR lookup APIv2 bigger, faster, and stronger (we have the technology), but we now provide your business with additional information. One new feature is the Number Ported Date. As well as providing the original and current networks of a ported number, you now have the option to see the date on which the number was last ported. To determine if the information regarding mobile number portability is of value to your business, let us examine in detail – What is Number Porting?
What is Number Porting?
Number Porting is the process of transferring a phone number from the network provider that originally issued it, to a different network provider. Once the telephone number has been ported from the original network to the new network, the original network operator will close the subscriber’s account and the original network operator will update their internal number porting database to mark that telephone number as being ported away to a different network (and which network it was ported to).
Why Port Your Number?
Historically, changing telecom providers would mean you have to have a new telephone number from the new telephone network and give up your old telephone number. This was frustrating for consumers and businesses when people want to call them and their telephone number has changed. Mobile Number Portability was introduced so that users could request that the telephone number they are used to using can be moved from the network where it was originally assigned to the new network where the user wants telephone service.
Mobile Number Portability has become an invaluable part of many countries numbering plans and allows users to exploit the cheapest deals available without potentially losing contacts. It also provides freedom for companies to switch who may have created marketing campaigns based on a memorable phone number.
How Does Number Porting Happen?
Mobile Number Portability is performed in different ways around the world, but for us in the UK and Europe in general, the method is standardised. Telephone number ranges are issued to a Communications Provider (CP), and when you sign up as a customer of a particular Communications Provider, this is who takes your money and provides your telephone number. These Communications Providers either use the infrastructure of an existing Network Operator (NO), or they may be the customer-facing brand of the Network Operator themselves.
After Number Porting, the mobile number is associated with a new Communications Provider. However, the mobile number still falls in the number range that belongs to the original Communications Provider. So, a call to the number will still go through to the original network first, they will realise the number has been ported to a new network and forward the call on. Despite an agreement across the networks in the UK to operate this way, it does mean that the networks will handle a lot of traffic that they receive no financial benefit.
‘get_port_date’ Feature, And Why You Should Use It
For HLR lookups in some countries, we can now give you the option of learning the date that the telephone number was last ported. For these countries, if the telephone number has been ported to a different network other than the originally assigned network then the get_ported_date parameter retrieves the date that the telephone number was last ported.
The main benefit for requesting this info from a HLR Lookup is to improve customer fraud protection by combatting ‘port-out fraud’. Port-out fraud is where a criminal tries to hijack a telephone number by transferring the number to a new telephone network and then using the number to receive one-time passwords for banking, email, or other services. By knowing the date, a number that was last ported you can reduce the risk of fraud on your platform.
If the ported date is something that interests you then this result can be added as an additional output field on the JSON response. There’s an additional charge of 1 credit for the ported date. If the ported date is requested but the country searched is not covered, or the telephone number is not ported, or no date was retrieved there is no additional charge. If a telephone number was ported away from the original network to a different network and then was ported back to the original network it is not possible to retrieve the last ported date.
API Post Parameter
Use of the ported date feature is currently only available to our API v2 users and can be requested simply by adding an additional field to your JSON API request:
See below for a list of countries that we can currently supply the get_ported_date feature for:
|Bosnia / Herzegovina||BIH||Netherlands||NLD|
See our coverage checker, find the country from the list to check the coverage and find out if any restrictions apply here>