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HLR: Number Lookups

Tagged with hlr, number context, lookup, number, deliverable
by Jonny Carter
in Documentation

02-Mar-2015 00:00

What Is A HLR Lookup?

HLR stands for Home Location Register, which is an up to date central database from a mobile network, stored within, is all the information about mobile subscribers.

You can perform a HLR lookup on a number to find out:

  • If a number is deliverable
  • Which network the number is subscribed to
  • If the number is ported
  • If the number is roaming
  • If the device is switched off or has poor signal

How can I benefit from using HLR Lookups?

HLR lookups can save you money. If you perform a HLR lookup on a list of numbers, you can filter out all of the numbers which are undeliverable, reducing your send cost to just the deliverable numbers.

The cost of a HLR is a fraction of actually performing a send so if you have large lists we highly recommended that you HLR them.

Types of HLR results

HLRs use GSM Status/error codes to determine report whether or not a number is deliverable or undeliverable. Deliverable numbers always return the same status code but there are many different error codes that describe why HLR records are flagged as undelivered.

Some of these error codes signify permanent failures, meaning that the number is dead. Other error codes are temporary failures, which means HLRing these at a later date could result in a different status code. These temporary failures tend to be caused by loss of signal, international roaming, phone switched off etc... we recommend that you don't send to these unless HLR'd again and reported as deliverable.

How do I perform a HLR Lookup using the TextGoto platform?

You can perform a HLR lookup on any list you have in the system - simply go the lists/views page (available if your account is switched to Advanced mode on the dashboard) and select the list, then click "Examine List". This will bring up information about the list and several options.

Select "HLR this list". The system will tell you how many numbers you are about to HLR, and how much it will cost. It will also give you an estimate how long the queue for HLR requests is, and an estimate of how long your HLR will take - bear in mind that HLRing large lists can take several hours.

Once you are happy to accept the cost, simply click Confirm to add your HLR request to the system.

What can I do with my HLR data?

Your finished HLR data can be accessed in multiple forms - by splitting it into three possible groups using the checkboxes in the action viewer for your HLR action. You can select data with no error (good numbers), data with non-permanent errors (handset switched off, number temporarily unavailable), and data with permananent errors (invalid number, non-existing number). You can select one or more of these groupings to act on.

Once your HLR request is complete, you can perform several actions with that report (which remains available for 30 days):

  1. Download to download the data as an Excel file - this file will include network and roaming information
  2. Create A List to load the selected data into a new list, which you can then send to
  3. Stop the selected numbers in your account, so you will no longer send to them


Clean and valid data is a huge contributor to the success of SMS campaigns, and can make a huge difference to the results you see. If you need any help or advice with HLR and how to make it work for you, contact us anytime.