According to the latest report from ITU (International Telecommunication Union) the worldwide mobile subscriber base stands at 4.1 billion (of which India accounts for almost 10% at 403.66 million at the end of April 2009) while fixed-line subscriber base at 1.27 billion. With dropping call rates and booming mobile telephony market we have to bear the burnt of getting lots of unwanted calls and missed calls.
Sometimes we cannot even identify which country the missed call is from (except of course the ones from our home country and a few others for which we know the international dialing code). Then how do we find it?
There is a centralized database which has the following details about almost every phone number in the world.
- Type of Number
- City / State / Exchange location
- Original Network Provider
1. Type of Number
This specifies whether the number is a Mobile number or a Landline/Fixed line referred as Geographic number. There is also a type of number called NonGeographic Number in countries like UK which is not linked to any specific location/city.
It is the country the number originates from.
3. City / State / Exchange location
This gives the city and exchange location information for a fixed line phone and the zone or state for a mobile number.
4. Original Network Provider
This is the actual telecom company providing the service like Airtel, BSNL, Verizon, T-Mobile etc. But network provider listed here may not be the present network/service provider because Number Portability is not taken into account.
How can you use this service?
To use this service go to this page and enter the number in the international format.
- <country code> <full phone number>
Eg. +12532532533 or +447010752752
For fixed line phones, enter as follows:
- <country code> <STD or area code> <phone number>
where 91 is India’s country code, 44 area code for Chennai and 22102210 being the actual phone number. In India area codes are of varying length but the phone number together with the area code is always 10 digits for Indian numbers.
You can also use 00 instead of + .
The databases are updated quite frequently, last time the databases were updated on 11th May 2009. Next update is expected during first week of June 2009. You can also purchase a license to access the entire database for about €55 per month. The databases are available in CSV format (comma delimited strings) as well as in TXT format (tab delimited values).
Click here to download a sample of the database in CSVformat.
How about Real Time Location Tracking?
By realtime location i mean where the mobile subscriber is at that particular moment of time. We can only know the realtime location of a mobile subscriber by reading the VLR (Visitor Location Register) or HLR(Home Location Register) database maintained by the network operators’ MSC (Mobile Switching Center) for each mobile subscriber. This is not possible as of now (at least in India) and i doubt its availabilty in future too due to security/privacy concerns.
There are many websites claiming to give access to the owner information on paying a few dollars, but i don’t know if even they can provide realtime location of a mobile subscriber. If someone has used such services, please share your experiences. Let alone location, we cannot even know the name of the person on whose name the mobile number is registered.
Note 1 : Enter 5 or more digits(excluding county code) to get all the available details in many cases.
Note 2 : After doing a certain number of queries/analysis in one session, the site does not allow you to continue your analysis, in that case just end the session and restart a new one or you can register a free account here which allows you to do almost unlimited number of analysis.
[Editor’s Note: This post is submitted by our guest blogger Prasannan, an avid tech enthusiast. This is his first blog post on Devils Workshop.