Number lookup overview

Get information about a phone number (MSISDN) using the Sinch Number Lookup Service.

The core functionality of the Number Lookup Service is to provide information about the MSISDN queried. Essentially, you'll input an MSISDN, and information about the MSISDN comes out.

In some countries, information is accessible via national MNP databases. And in some markets, the only way to get information about a certain MSISDN is to query the HLR of the network the subscriber is connected to.

To provide data of highest quality, we've created a Number Lookup service that combines data sourced directly from local number portability databases with an extensive global HLR coverage powered by our MNO partners. The service is built on a true carrier grade platform developed by our Operator division, ensuring excellent performance in terms of availability, throughput and latency. Just like all Sinch’s services the Number Lookup service is fully redundant. Our Number Lookup service is accessible via two interfaces:

  • ENUM

Use cases

The use cases for Number Lookup services are many, but most common are:

  • Calling and SMS routing optimization
  • Authentication services
  • Number database cleaning

Knowing which network a subscriber is connected to is key to create a high quality messaging service. Having information on in which country a subscriber is located in, has proven very useful in authentication services.

Number portability lookup and real-time lookup

Depending on the use case, you'll need differing data about the phone number (MSISDN). That’s why we've packaged our Number Lookup services in to two different products: Number Portability Lookup and Real-Time Lookup.

Number portability lookup

The Number Portability Lookup service is optimized for calling and SMS routing. It provides you with the MCC+MNC of the operator the subscriber belongs to. Data sources used for the service are national MNP databases and HLR queries.

Real-time lookup

The Real-Time Lookup service is based on real-time HLR queries only, and is commonly used for authentication services where information in addition to MCC+MNC is needed.

Input for a Number Lookup query is always an MSISDN - the table below illustrates which data is returned when using our Number Lookup services via the two interfaces.

Number Portability Lookup MCC + MNC MCC + MNC
Real-Time Lookup MCC + MNC MCC + MNCCountry Code Handset Status Code