14 Jun Improve The Efficiency Of Your SMS Marketing Campaigns – Choose The Right HLR Gateway
As a South African cellphone user, you have a choice of four network service providers. Competition amongst these four networks is naturally fierce as they try to lure you away from your current network to theirs. In the past, changing networks meant changing your number – and that was a virtually unthinkable option for most people! Then, back in 2006, something amazing happened: Mobile Number Portability. Suddenly, you didn’t have to put up with inferior service simply because you didn’t want to lose your number! This was great news for subscribers, but it presented a real headache for businesses, market research agencies, insurance companies and anyone else who regularly called or sent messages to large numbers of people in their database. Now there was no real way to keep track of which numbers linked to which network. An HLR Gateway helped tackle this problem.
What Is An HLR Gateway?
An HLR (Home Location Register) is at the core of every GSM network worldwide. It determines the home country and home network of a mobile subscriber. It can also be used to locate a subscriber who is currently on roaming. Essentially, it’s a comprehensive database of information about authorised users on the GSM network. An HLR Gateway is the way in which you can use this information to keep your mobile number databases current.
But, how does HLR actually work?
Every SIM card released has its own unique identity number attached to it. This is known as the International Mobile Subscriber Identity, or IMSI, and it’s the primary key for each HLR record. HLR also makes use of the mobile station international subscriber directory number (MSISDN), which is a list of the telephone numbers registered for each subscription. Other information provided by an HLR includes the subscriber’s current location, call divert settings, and details of services either requested by, or rendered to, the subscriber.
The HLR updates every time the SIM transfers into another location area. This is particularly beneficial for companies sending out bulk SMSs. Before they do so, they can scan through the HLR to see which mobile switching centre the recipients recently used.
So, basically, an HLR Gateway allows you to do two key things: check a mobile number’s original Mobile Network Operator, and tell you if a number has been recently used, or if it is, in fact, even still live. Eliminating irrelevant and invalid numbers from your database provides huge cost and time savings. Imagine how valuable it would be if you knew which of the numbers on your lists were valid or invalid, active or deactivated, switched off or on roaming? You could spring clean your databases to eliminate inactive or retired numbers.
Benefits Of An HLR Gateway
The main benefit of using an HLR Gateway is one of cost. It is far cheaper to initiate an HLR lookup than it is to send a text message to someone who never receives it. It also greatly simplifies payment and billing procedures by reducing the number of errors triggered by customers with inactive or invalid numbers, but who are still in your database.
There are other significant benefits too, including:
- Keeping databases up to date improves the effectiveness – in terms of both cost and reach – of targeted SMS marketing campaigns.
- Provides subscribers with better service while they’re on roaming.
- Determining a customer’s home network helps you optimise routing of SMS, voice and VoIP calls.
- Enables better and broader service coverage, improving revenue margins.
- Helps troubleshoot SMS delivery issues.
- Increases the accuracy of network billing by identifying the network to which a cellphone number currently belongs.
- Differentiates between phones that are simply switched off temporarily, numbers experiencing a short-term problem and those are actually invalid.
- Find out why an SMS wasn’t delivered.
Is An HLR Lookup Difficult To Perform?
Not if you use the right HLR Gateway! An HLR lookup is fast and inexpensive. It’s also easy to do in real time, during a call setup, or SMS delivery. And if you’re worried about privacy issues, don’t be. Lookups are performed remotely and are non-invasive – if the number is active, the user concerned won’t see anything on their phone. An HLR lookup isn’t a kind of phone hack – you won’t be able to access any of the information on the user’s phone, or control its functioning in any way. The sole purpose of using an HLR Gateway is to ascertain the validity of phone numbers.
Why not contact Panacea Mobile and chat to us about our HLR Gateway? We can perform an Active Status check – telling you whether a number is currently active, absent or unknown on a mobile network – and a Ported Status check. This checks the MCC and MNC numbers of a mobile number to see if it has been ported to another network. So don’t waste your time and money marketing to numbers that are no longer valid. Talk to us today.