What Is A Carrier Lookup Service?

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Learn what a carrier look up service is, what this service does for you, and why it's necessary for text marketing services.

Sending a text is simple from the user’s end. Type what you want to say, pick who you want to send it to, and press send.

It’s so simple, we often don’t think about all the steps that happen within a split second on the back end to take that text from your phone, and deliver it to your recipient. That’s what carriers are for! Businesses like Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint are the powerful forces that make texting possible.

By proxy of course, this means text marketing groups like SimpleTexting rely on these carriers to make their messaging possible as well. So, if you’re interested in learning more about how text marketing software powers your communications, it’s important to first understand what a carrier lookup service is, and why it’s needed.

We’ll give you the run down in a few quick explanations.

What Are Carrier Lookup Services?

To send messages through a text marketing platform, a carrier ID must be included, and the only way to get a carrier ID is by using a wireless carrier lookup.

With text marketing, your messages are sent from an online dashboard or app, not a traditional cellphone. But in order for a texting service to actually deliver these messages for you, they need to know what wireless carriers your subscribers are using.

Companies like SimpleTexting do that by using something called a wireless carrier lookup. We utilize this service for every new number added to the system (once a number is added it’s automatically stored).

How Does Carrier Lookup Work?

When a text service provider pings a carrier lookup service with a request, they respond with a numerical code. Each code has numbers that identify the exact carrier the number belongs to. For example, a carrier code including the numbers 31002 would be referencing AT&T. This carrier ID is then sent along with the text message to complete the delivery.

This step is necessary in part because of the compliance laws regulating text message marketing. Carriers have a share of voice in the regulation making and, in some instances, they have restrictions on the kind of mass messages they allow through.

So, in a one sentence summary: to send messages through a text marketing platform, a carrier ID must be included, and the only way to get a carrier ID is by using a wireless carrier lookup.

What Happens When Someone Opts In?

The scenario we described above is the most applicable in the case of sending a message to a stored contact or subscriber. But what happens when someone texts your business first, like with a keyword.

In this case, the message would actually come with a carrier ID, although it’s not something you would see without digging for it.

Either way, as you’ll see, a carrier ID will always serve as the way we confirm that a phone number is on the right wireless carrier.

Alternative Uses of Wireless Carrier Lookups

In addition to using a wireless carrier lookup to verify a subscriber’s cell phone carrier, it can also be a tool for…

  • Investigating the quality of your contact list and weeding out junk numbers
  • Eliminating landlines from your lists as well as disconnected or non-text enabled numbers

While the tool is specific, it can be a great resource for saving you time, money, and legal headaches.

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