Msisdn full form is Mobile Subscriber - ISDN number. It is of maximum 15 digits long. Uniquely identifies a mobile subscriber across the glob. This is also called the phone number. Number length varies according to the country.  Each mobile operator gets it's own msisdn range from the gsm standard body. On HLR , for a subscriber configuration, IMSI and MSISDN are the primary key for a subscriber record. It is the number which is dialed by a mobile subscriber to call another subscriber. A mobile subscriber can get the mobile number from device.

HLR allocates a msisdn to a sim card on location update. Generally this remains same, but it can be changed by the mobile operator. For mobile terminated call, the GMSC sends the SendRoutingInfo GSM MAP operation with the dialed MSISDN. If subscriber is online and allowed to received the the call, then SendRoutingInfoResponse is returned with the MSRN and roaming MSC/VLR information.

On network, a msisdn carries information along with digits. E.g if a number is national on international.  The format of MSISDN on network is encoded in E.164 , according to ITU-T.

MSISDN Format : 


CC or mobile country code:1 to 3 digits long. Signifies the country , the number belongs to.   When a number is dialed with nationonal format the country code in msisdn is not present. There may be 0 in place of country code.

NDC or National Destination code: Identify the are of mobile network operator. Once in a country , NDC identifies the subscriber and the area in a country.

Subscriber Number (SN) : subscriber digits. These are chosen by the mobile operator.


Msisdn vs Imsi:

In other tutorial we have mention details about IMSI . IMSI is another global identity for a subscriber.  Both can we used to route messages towards the home network of the subscriber. But there are differences. Following are the details for MSISDN vs IMSI.

  • IMSI is embedded in sim card while MSISDN is allocated when phone registers on the network.
  • IMSI is of fix length, MSISDN length varies. Length depends one the number of subscribers a mobile operator want to serve.
  • IMSI have MCC and MNC codes, while MSISDN have CC and NDC.
  • Same SIM card can be assigned another MSISDN , but to change IMSI, subscriber has to change SIM card.
  • To call a subscriber , msisdn is dialed, not the IMSI.

How to check mobile number from sim: 

When a new sim card is purchased. The mobile number is mentioned on the box. It takes some time to memorize the phone number. But mean while may required to know what is my phone number from the device itself. Following are the way to know MSISDN or phone number.

What is my phone number on android:

These days android devices are very common. The device shows the phone number in various settings.  The exact steps may differ for different models of android or os versions.

Find phone number from about phone: 

Unlock the android device. 

Go to settings .

Scroll down to the about phone.   In about phone you can see the phone number or MSISDN. For the dual sim card, the about phone on android displays the mobile number for each sim card.

Find phone number from sim card manager:

Unlock the android device. 

Go to settings.

Got to connections.

Scroll down to SIM card manager. 

In sim card manager you can see each sim card entry with mobile number with the mobile operator name.

ussd code to get the phone number:

Each operator provides ussd codes for checking balance or other things. Most of the time the ussd response contains the mobile number. E.g on Airtel India if *121# is dialed. The response have mobile number along with the ussd menu.

WhatsApp to get the phone number.

It is the very common application on a android devices. It also fetches the phone number or msisdn from the phone. Following are the steps to get mobile number. 

Open the WhatsAapp 

Go to settings, This will diaplay the profile with name and other options. 

Click on profile, there you can see the phone number.

Get number grammatically on android:

The android  provides platform for develping mobile applications. The applications are developed in java. There are inbuild librarirs for accessing andriod devices from the java code. Following is the code to get mobile number form tha java code on android.

TelephonyManager phoneInfo = (TelephonyManager)mAppContext.getSystemService(Context.TELEPHONY_SERVICE);
String mobileNumber =phoneInfo getLine1Number();
The required permission also needs to set for the mobile application.

What is my phone number on iphone:

Iphone is  also provides the capoabilities to get the own phone number from the device. 

Go to to the phone screen. 

Go to settings 

Go to phone. This will display the phone number. 

(2) Comments

  • Nitin September 18, 2018 @ 10:15 am

    I come to know that the same sim card can have multiple MSISDN. Is it true and how then it works?

    • sedhuram November 20, 2018 @ 12:51 pm

      Yes, There is a Master Slave SIM card concept.
      One Master SIM card may have Many Slave cards with different MSISDN’s. When you make a call to any Slave MSISDN
      Call will go to Master Card’s Number.

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