How to know if a mobile phone number is still in service

Updated April 17, 2017

Mobile phones are a popular tool to stay in touch with family, friends and colleagues when you are on the go. It is rare anymore to see someone without a phone. When you sign up for service with a mobile phone company, you are given a phone as well as a phone number. However, when you get rid of your service, or switch your phone provider (and don't move your phone with the service) the number will go out of service. There are a few simple steps to find out if the phone number is still in service.

Dial the number of the phone you want to call. You may want to try dialling from a land line telephone. A land line means a phone other than a mobile phone (such as your home phone.) If you don't have a home phone or don't have access to one, see if someone has one you can borrow.

Listen for the rings. If the phone rings numerous times, but goes to voicemail, that may mean the phone number is still in service. If the number is not in service, when you call it may ring once or twice but you will then get an automated message. This message will state that the number is no longer in service, or something similar.

Hang up the phone and take any needed action if required. For example, if you know your phone number should be in service and it is not, contact your provider's customer service.


Double check the number when you call to make sure you have dialled the right number.


Mobile phone services sometimes have technical difficulties. If you receive a message that a cell phone number you own is not in service, but you know for a fact it is, don't assume your number has been disconnected. Call customer service from a different line and check with them to see if they are having a service interruption.

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About the Author

Denisa Gipson is a writer from Northwest Indiana who has been writing professionally since 2009. She specializes in how-to articles, and her interests range from parenting to pets. She has written articles for eHow and Answerbag. She holds a Bachelor of Science in computer science from Davenport University.