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How Do You Deal With Ported Phone Numbers?



In the video above, Tatango CEO Derek Johnson answers the question, “How do SMS software providers deal with ported phone numbers?” Prefer to read instead? No problem, please see the post below. You can also find answers to all of your SMS marketing questions in our Q&A video library; click here to browse.


What Is a Ported Phone Number?

A ported phone number describes the process of taking an existing phone number on one wireless carrier and transferring the same phone number to another wireless carrier.


How Do SMS Software Providers Deal With Ported Phone Numbers?

When SMS software providers send a text message, they receive a delivery receipt. The delivery receipt comes from the wireless carrier the mobile phone number belongs to and contains information about the phone number. It provides information about the confirmation of the message sent or information about whether the number belongs to that wireless carrier anymore. If a phone no longer exists on the carrier that the SMS provider has been sending messages to, the SMS provider has to conduct a wireless carrier lookup.

For example, let’s say that the phone number 555-555-1234 is currently on AT&T and has opt-ed into several SMS campaigns, but the consumer wants to switch to T-Mobile. The next time an SMS provider sends an SMS marketing message, the SMS provider will receive an error message containing information such as, “Sorry, that phone number no longer exists on AT&T.”

SMS software providers have to conduct an API call that will tell the SMS software provider what wireless network that phone number belongs to. Then, using that information, SMS software providers can update the phone number information in the software so, in the future, the messages will be sent to the correct wireless carrier.

For information about how to handle these situations, check out our video about deactivated phone numbers.


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