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Why don’t you use mobile operator detection?

2 Minutes

There are many reasons we do not use HLR.

Home Location Register (HLR) is a central database used by GSM mobile networks to store details of every SIM card issued by the mobile operator. It contains essential information such as the subscriber's phone number, profile details, current location, and other related details. But when it comes to its reliability, especially concerning privacy and data concerns, there are several reasons for potential concerns:

Privacy Laws and Data Protection: Modern privacy laws like the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) emphasize the protection of individuals' personal data. Since HLR can provide details about a subscriber's location and their service profile, querying this data without proper justification or the individual's consent can be a breach of these privacy laws.

MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators): Some major operators may not assign a unique identification to each MVNO. Therefore, when performing an HLR lookup, it might be challenging to distinguish between the main operator and its MVNOs, leading to misleading results and creating a bad user expreince.

Obsolete Data: HLRs might not always have the most current data. If an individual changes their phone number or if there are other updates to their subscription profile, and the HLR isn't updated promptly, it can result in discrepancies and reliability issues.

Mobile Number Portability: This allows subscribers to retain their mobile number even when they switch carriers. If the HLR lookup isn't integrated well with the portability database, it might return the details of the old carrier instead of the new one.

Restrictions by Countries: Not all countries or operators share HLR data freely due to regulatory, privacy, or competitive reasons. If an operator or a country doesn't permit access to their HLR data, it limits the global reliability of HLR lookups.

False Positives/Negatives: Due to the above challenges, there can be cases where HLR lookups might indicate a number is active when it's not, or vice-versa, leading to false positives or negatives.

Potential for Misuse: Unregulated access to HLR data can be exploited by marketers, fraudsters, or even stalkers to gather information about individuals without their knowledge or consent.

Infrastructure and Operational Costs: If a telecom operator doesn't invest sufficiently in these updates, the data's accuracy and reliability can be compromised.

Why don’t you use mobile operator detection?