Didyou know

Telephone Identification can also be known as Phone Type Verification, TNI, Telephone Authentication and Phone Identification.

Telephone number identification, or TNI, serves several important functions. First it authenticates that the number is a real "dialable" phone number. Second it will let you know where the phone was provisioned: the country, region, and city. Lastly, and most importantly, it will tell you the type of phone the number is assigned to.

NOTE: This is typically an inexpensive service and when coupled with other techniques it can provide a nice return for the money spent to perform the check.

“Gotchas” with phone identification include:

There are very few resources for this type of service, and once outside the U.S. the number is increasingly smaller.

Make sure the service distinguishes fixed VOIP, like Vonage, versus non-fixed VOIP, like Skype.

On mobile phones, not all prepaid phones will be distinguished as such, and some may look like regular mobile phones.


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Telephone Identificationtechnique overview

Telephone identification is the process of determining the type of phone being used by a consumer or end user. This technique looks up the phone number to determine where it was provisioned, and the type of phone it is associated with. It is available as a hosted bureau service. Common phone types are: fixed line, mobile, prepaid mobile, fixed VOIP, non-fixed VOIP, payphone, private number, government line.

Key considerations when implementing or buying this functionality include:

  • What countries are supported?
  • How does the service handle unknown numbers?
  • Look into name, address and phone authentication as well.
  • Look into phone verification.

How does it work?

At a minimum you would provide a phone number, and in some cases the country, where the number is supposedly from. The service then returns information back about that phone number. These services are real time services.


How do you use the results?

Not all phone types have the same level of risk, you will have to determine which phone types indicate higher risk to your organization. We would strongly recommend you combine the TNI results with other forms of authentication.


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