Why Aren’t Cell Phone Numbers Considered Public Information?

Over the past year, many different emails have circulated claiming that cell phone subscribers need to register their phone numbers with the National Do Not Call Registry by a certain deadline, to avoid receiving telemarketing calls because cellular numbers will be released to the public. These emails are false for the simple fact that it is illegal for telemarketers that use autodialers (virtually all of them) to call wireless phones, and also because mobile numbers have always been private, and will remain as such.

Cellular phone numbers are not considered public information for different reasons. Even though there was and still is interest in creating a public directory for wireless phones (Wireless 411), mobile numbers will never be published in a public directory, such as the White Pages. The phone fees cellphone consumers are charged, simply vary too much, and are typically higher than traditional landline telephones.

Cell phone providers offer their customers a variety of phones, packages and plans to choose from to suit their needs. While some people only use their phone for emergencies and are happy with basic phone service with 50 talking minutes per month or less, or subscribe to a pay-as-you-go plan, others use their wireless phone for business or as their main telecommunication device. These individuals typically purchase extra phone features (I.E. call waiting, caller ID, texting, Internet access, etc.), and pay a substantial fee.

Nevertheless, regardless of how much a phone may cost a person, making and receiving incoming calls or texts, regardless if they are local or long distance, is not free. Mobile users are charged minutes from their plan, actual money if minutes are exceeded, or pay a significant amount for a plan that provides them with unlimited calling. Thus, the main reason why cell phone numbers are not public information, is it puts users at risk of being charged or having their minutes wasted from unwanted calls being made to their phone.

Nevertheless, though you will not be able to find a wireless number through a forward search, you can use a reverse phone lookup if you already have the cell phone number, and would like to find out more about its owner.