Identify Phone Numbers for Cell Phone Text Messaging

There are several ways to process phone records to determine the line type and carrier (other information is also available if needed).Identify Phone Numbers

  • You can scour the internet for free tools to do this yourself.
  • You can hire a service to run a manual batch to clean lists of phone records.
  • You can subscribe to a service that lets you upload a file with phone numbers.
  • You can subscribe to a service that provides a real-time API and returns XML.

If you have less than a few hundred records you can typically find a free ‘identify phone number’ tool online where you can do the lookup yourself.  The SearchBug service allows you to lookup phone info for free a few times a day. You can subscribe for under $4.00 per month and run 100 per day manually. This is by far the cheapest solution available.

A Manual Batch Service:
If you have a list with 1,000, 10,000 or even a few 100,000 records to clean and only need a single list cleaned, this is a good option. Easy to get started. Simply complete a payment form and email (upload in future) your spreadsheet of numbers with one number per row. Your batch is processed and returned within one business day (sometimes the same day). There is a flat  fee per batch based on number of records.

The Self Service Batch Tool:
This tool allows you to upload phone numbers in any format (ie. dashes, spaces, or even if it has a 1 in front). You can sign up and enter your billing information online. Then you can start to submit 1 to 10,000 records per batch (as many batches as needed daily up to your subscribed monthly limit). Tiered pricing is based on number of records processed monthly. Fee is a monthly subscription as is lower than flat per batch fee pricing.

A Real-Time API:
An API allows you to “call” HTTP GET or HTTP POST via a private URL and receive XML in return to parse into your database as needed. This method allows you to submit from 1 to 1,000 records per API call.

The XML returned can be used as you need. Parse it into your database live. Do you have an inbound call center and want to know information about the number in real-time. Are your people talking to mobile users? Tiered pricing based on number of records processed monthly.

Output from the batch tool or API can return any of the following information:

  • Identify each line type (Cell / Landline / unknown)
  • Carrier name
  • Location
  • Calling Area

Want to learn more about phone number lookup?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Noah Wieder is CEO of SearchBug, Inc. and the founder of Best People Search. offers a Free People Finder and Company Search as well as Data Scrubbing Services. is a private investigator portal and Information Retrieval Services web site where investigators offer searches to businesses and individuals with specific search needs.