Network lookup API

Our network lookup API can provide you with a more detailed response for your network lookups, including an indication of how the information was discovered, by sending a request via HTTP POST to our gateway, allowing quick integration with your own services.

Identify which network is providing services to a mobile handset

Two classes of network lookup service make it possible to identify the network operator for a given mobile number.


Service Cost per query
OFCOM reservation reference Free
Network reference 1 SMS credit

OFCOM reservation reference service

OFCOM publish information about which mobile numbers were reserved for which provider. We provide a way for you to refer to this information programmatically for free.

Please note that where a number has been ported from one provider to another, the system will inform you of the Range Holder rather than the current provider.

How to identify the network provider for a given mobile number (or https)
including these variables in your request (* denotes a required field):

username *
password *
msisdn * Number must be in international format or E.164 format  
method : 1, 2 or 3 (bitmask)
 method=1: for Ofcom only lookup (Free)
 method=2: for network lookup (cost -1 premium(UK) or -1 premium(Global) credit)
 method=3: (1+2) for both Ofcom and Network Lookup contact: 0 (zero) or 1 (one) (1 to include contact details, 0 for no details)

Possible return values…

contact : Network provider contact details.
country : Country
msisdn : The mobile telephone number
nl_accuracy :
  1 : Live data
  2 : Cached within 24 hours
  3 : Cached information (up to 1 month old)
  4 : Prefix identification
  9 : Failed
nl_mvno : Name of Mobile Virtual Network Operator 
nl_network : Network name (Network Lookup) 
nl_network_code : MCC+MNC code (if nl_network undecipherable - Network Lookup) 
nl_location : The current location that the SIM is registered
  ofcom_area : Geographic number area code (Ofcom database) 
  ofcom_change_date : Date when the data last changed (Ofcom database) 
  ofcom_network : Network name (Ofcom database) 
  ofcom_tariff_note : Tariff note according to Ofcom (Ofcom database) 
  ofcom_use : Number usage according to Ofcom (Ofcom database)
sms_handler : The party that handles inbound SMS on the number

Example successful lookup responses

Successful lookup

0 : Successful lookup
msisdn : 44777XXXXXXX
country : United Kingdom  
  ofcom_network : Vodafone Ltd
  ofcom_change_date : 01-1998
  ofcom_use : Mobile services
nl_network : Vodafone Ltd
nl_location : United Kingdom
nl_accuracy : 1

OR with contact

0 : Successful lookup
msisdn : 44777XXXXXXX
contact : 08700746464, Vodafone Head Office, The Courtyard, 2-4 London Road, Newbury, Berkshire, RG14 1JX
country : United Kingdom  
  ofcom_network : Vodafone Ltd
  ofcom_change_date : 01-1998
  ofcom_use : Mobile services
nl_network : Vodafone Ltd
nl_location : United Kingdom
nl_accuracy : 1

OR international number

0 : Successful lookup
msisdn : 491511XXXXXXX
country : Germany  
  nl_network : T-Mobile Deutschland GmbH
  nl_location : Federal Republic of Germany
  nl_accuracy : 1

OR UK landline

0 : Successful lookup
msisdn : 44120XXXXXXX
contact : 08702257879, BT plc, 81 Newgate Street, London, EC1A 7AJ
country : United Kingdom  
  ofcom_area : Colchester
  ofcom_network : BT
  ofcom_change_date : 07-1994

Error responses

Any failed queries will return an error response:
“status # : description” e.g.: 2: Authentication error

Status Description
0: Successful lookup Successful lookup
1: Insufficient route Can appear when querying a foreign destination
2: Authentication error Incorrect username or password
3: MSISDN number error Incorrect MSISDN provided
4: Insufficient credit Buy more credit
5: Internal system error There was a problem with processing your request. Please report this using our support system
9: Undefined error Error without any specific description. Please report this using our support system
10: Gateway unreachable Desired network was not reachable
11: Result not parsable Data was not returned in expected format
12: Data unavailable HLR data unavailable for the MSISDN
13: Unknown subscriber MSISDN is not known to the network
14: Absent subscriber MSISDN is not currently registered to any network
15: Invalid request Unexpected data was submitted to a network
16: System failure Request rejected due to network or protocol failure
17: Lookup not supported MSISDN does not support look ups
18: Request rejected MSISDN is barred
19: Request aborted Indicates temporary problem or lost reach
20: Timeout No response was received from a network

Network lookup

Following the link below will take you to our on-site Network Lookup service where you can identify the operator for a particular mobile or landline number, based on existing OFCOM information.