How to Tell if a Caller is Using a Cell Phone or Landline

by Lookify

Published on: April 18, 2020

Reading time: 10 min.

There are many types of calls that can be placed this day and age. The most common call types are mobile, landline, and VoIP. In this article, we will show you how you can determine, based on just the phone number, if the person who called you used a mobile phone or a landline - or another type of method to place the call.

How to Tell If a Number Is a Cell Phone or a Landline

To begin, ensure that you have written down the full 9-digit phone number. A partial phone number, or a phone number without the area code, will not work.

  1. Navigate to Lookify.io and enter the full phone number in the search box. Call type information is completely free to lookup and requires no account or credit card.
  2. At the results page, observe the Type result
  3. The Type result will say either "Wireless", "Landline", "VoIP", or "Directory"

Carrier results when performing a search on Lookify.io

A result that says "Wireless" indicates that the phone number belongs to a cell phone. Alternatively, a landline device will appear as "Landline". Keep in mind that ff you see a result that is different than "Wireless" or "Landline" that there are other call types that just these two - read on for more information.

Call Types

  • Mobile / Wireless - A mobile call type (also known as a wireless or cellular phone number) is placed from a cell phone or other mobile device, such as an Android or iPhone. There is no way to determine the exact device that placed the call, as this data is not included in the carrier routing when the call is made.
  • Landline - The second most popular type of call, a landline number is simply a regular phone number that depends on physical wires to enable various types of calls. Landline phone numbers were much more common before cellphones came into existence, and depend on a physical wire or core to connect the phone to the rest of the world in order to place or receive calls. A common limitation of landline numbers is that landlines are almost always included within public phone number directories or phone books, unless your carrier allows you to opt-out of such a service. Of course, landlines are also limited by the length of the wire that connects the phone, so you can't wander too far away from the phone receiver like you can with a cell phone.
  • VoIP - VoIP, short for "Voice Over Internet Protocol" or "VoIP", is a type of communication technology that that allows a user to make phone calls using an internet connection. Usually, this is done with a combination of hardware and software, common in call centers. A strong and reliable internet connection is a requirement for making calls over VoIP. Some telemarketers utilize VoIP in order to make many calls at once through telemarketing software such as autodialers - this is a feature that can't be done from a regular cell phone or landline, which is why VoIP is so popular among telemarketers.
  • Directory - Rarely used, directory numbers usually contain "555" within the 9-digit phone number, and are used for a variety of directory and informational purposes, most of which are described here. Directory numbers are largely out of use today, and exist as placeholders in movies, internal voice mail boxes, and access control systems.

Use A Phone Number Validator To Find Out More About A Phone Number

If you want to learn more about a phone number, such as the location of the caller and details about the identity of who called, it's best to use a phone number lookup service such as Lookify.io to perform a search for more information. Lookify.io allows you to retrieve much more information about who called you, all for free (some data requires a free trial).

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