Carriers & Service Providers—What’s the Difference?

Carriers & Service Providers—What’s the Difference?

Nowadays, many businesses and developers ask for users’ phone numbers during registration for many reasons. It’s not only to use the phone number as a contact number but also to verify the phone number or to get other information about it. Many businesses can find phone carrier information from a phone number with a phone carrier check API.

For businesses and developers, getting carrier information from a phone number offers many advantages. Such as analyzing based on carriers and updating their services. However, nowadays, the term service provider also appears frequently, and some businesses request this information from this phone number. Although we know these two terms as the same, they are actually different terms. Let’s get to know them better. Then, let’s find phone carrier information using a phone carrier check API.

What is the Service Provider?

A telecommunications service provider is a type of organization that almost everyone is familiar with. They are the ones who market the communication service directly to customers; an agreement with the service provider may include the various services and features they offer. Basically, they are the ones who shape and deliver the product.

To understand the difference between a carrier and a communication service provider, consider a balloon ride; the balloon company offers customers a ride in a weather balloon, and the name of the company is a familiar and memorable one. This analogy could be an example of a communication service provider.

But balloon rides require large areas to fly over. Different companies may own actual flight routes, and permission to travel on these routes can be sold to other companies. This is exactly how the carrier/communication service provider relationship works – it plays a similar role to the carrier that underpins the communication service.

What is the Carrier?

Telecommunication carriers are key players in the infrastructure of the communications world, working in secret. They are the technology that enables us to make our phone calls. This is a distinct difference that sets them apart from service providers because a service provider cannot provide telephone service without a carrier to forward your calls.

These carriers play an editorial role in the background; they are not very visible. This is where service providers come in. Carriers carry phone numbers; that is, carriers animate a phone number, making it actually functional.

Carriers and service providers are the behind-the-scenes driving force and unsung heroes of telephone service. They work together behind the scenes in the world of communications to ensure the provision of telephone service. For example, carriers are the wires that connect your phone calls to the headset, while service providers are the artists who turn those voices into audible and meaningful words.

How to Check the Carrier of Phone Number in a Software Application?

There are many ways to check the carrier information of a phone number with an application. While many of these ways require laborious and costly operations, a phone carrier check API provides businesses and developers with almost any data they need about phone numbers.

The numverify is the most popular phone carrier check API for businesses and developers lately. It is also very easy to use. To use this API for free, you just need to sign up for one of its subscription plans, ‘Free Plan’, and get an API key.

Then put the following endpoint in a browser.
? access_key = YOUR_ACCESS_KEY
& number = 14158586273

With this endpoint, we will get a lot of detailed information, such as carrier information for the phone number ‘14158586273’. After putting our own API key in the ‘YOUR_ACCESS_KEY’ field, let’s make a request to this endpoint. The JSON response we get as a result of the request is as follows:

“valid”: true,
“local_format”: “4158586273”,
“intl_format”: “+14158586273”,
“country_code”: “US”,
“country_name”: “United States of America”,
“location”: “Novato”,
“carrier”: “AT&T Mobility LLC”,
“line_type”: “mobile”

In addition, the unique documentation provided by the numverify API contains very detailed information for this endpoint. Like API error codes and descriptions of API request parameters.


As a result, carriers and service providers form two integral parts of the communications and technology world. Carriers manage the communications infrastructure and provide the physical connectivity, while service providers use this infrastructure to deliver a variety of services to end users. These two interdependent elements are the cornerstones of the modern communications ecosystem, enabling a wide range of everyday transactions, from phone calls to internet access.


Q: What are the Differences Between Carrier and Service Provider?

A: Carriers and service providers are integral parts of communication technologies. The main difference between them is that carriers provide the communication infrastructure and manage the physical connection, while service providers provide services using this infrastructure.

Q: Can I Check the Carrier of a Number with an API?

A: Yes, you can control the carrier of a number through the API. For example, the numverify API provides users with unique information about a phone number, such as carrier, location, line type, and many more.

Q: How Many Country Phone Numbers Does the numverify API Support Worldwide?

A: The numverify API supports 232 phone numbers worldwide.

Q: What is the Numbering Plans feature of the numverify API, and how does it work?

A: The numverify API’s numbering plans feature refers to a format validation system backed by regularly updated international phone number plans. This feature helps the API to determine whether a given phone number is valid and which country or region it belongs to. By tracking updates to international number plans, the API provides users with accurate and reliable results.

Q: How Can I Check a Phone Number Carrier with the numverify API?

A: Checking the carrier of a phone number is quite simple with the numverify API. First of all, you need to sign up for one of the subscription plans offered by numverify and get an API key. After that, you can then use this API key to send an HTTP GET request to the following endpoint to get the carrier information for the phone number you want: