Can I find if a phone number is active?

First let's agree on what the term 'active' means. We get many questions about phone numbers here at Veriphone and what most people using the term active mean is: a phone that is switched on, registered on a network and ready to receive calls. If that is what you mean by active, then no, sorry, you can't. Apart from a user holding a handset in his hands, the only other party to have this information is the carrier. And carriers have strict rules against disclosing the live status of its user's handsets. It's a matter of privacy.

Yes, many online services claim to provide the 'live status' of phone numbers. Go ahead, try it. Switch off your phone and put your own phone number in one of these services. It will still come out as active. The active state that you get from such services mean that the phone number was activated by a user at some point. In other terms, an non-active number is one that was not yet activated by a user and is probably still available to acquire on the market.

If carriers do not disclose the live status of phone numbers, what info do they disclose?

Status: Active/Not Active
An active number is one that has been activated by a user as a pre-paid phone or a contract. A non-active number is one that is put on the market by the carrier but have not been acquired nor activated by a user yet. Non-active numbers are by default not yet registered on any network. Active numbers, however, may or may not be currently registered on a network.

Line type
The line type currently assigned to that number. Can be one of: Mobile, Fixed line, VoIP, Toll_free.

Original network: name & country
The name of the carrier who first put this number on the market. The number may or may not be currently managed by the same carrier. If not, the name of the current carrier will be disclosed in Ported Network.

Ported Network: name & country
The carrier currently managing the number. If this is blank, it means that the number was not ported and that the original carrier is still managing the number.

Roaming network: name & country
When a number registers for the first time with a carrier other than the one managing the number, that number is said to be roaming. This usually happens when a user switches on his phone abroad. The name of the roaming network will be disclosed here and will keep showing as roaming until the numbers registers back with the home network even if the phone is switched off. Meaning that if a user switches on his phone abroad to register on a network then switches off his phone, the roaming network will keep showing until the user roams to another network or registers back on the home network.

Does Veriphone provide the above information?

Veriphone does not contact carriers to validate phone numbers. So we don't provide the status, ported network and roaming network. We do provide the line type and original network since this info is publicly available -except US Canada & Porto Rico-. If you ask why we don't contact carriers? Because not all carriers provide the above info. We've estimated that less than 85% of carriers world wide support this type of requests for mobile numbers only. This means that in a database of international numbers with mixed line types, less than 50% of the numbers will actually be validated. Moreover, carriers charge per request much more than what Veriphone charges per validation.

We have nothing against contacting carriers, it's just that we chose a different type of service. One that is comprehensive (supports all numbers worldwide) and affordable for large volumes.