What is MCN

What is an MNC?

What is an MNC?


MNC stands for Mobile Network Code. 

An MNC is a unique 2 – 3  digit code that identifies a mobile network operator (MNO) in a specific country.

Each mobile network has a different MNC for each country. Almost all mobile networks have more than one MNC in a country.

For example,
Vodafone has 2 MNCs in the UK, 91 and 15
In the US, AT&T has 10 MNCs

Why do most mobile networks have more than 1 MNC in a specific country?

The reason that mobile networks have more than one MNC is that companies frequently merge or are bought by other networks, so they adopt the previous network’s MNC. The commercial world of mobile carriers never stay still for long.

It all gets rather complicated and undoubtedly dull. Stay with me gang.

In total there are well over 2000 MNCs globally.

The US alone has 224 MNC numbers!
The UK has a more modest 55.

Please note that the MNC is not unique to the mobile network and different networks in different countries can share the same network code.

For example, all the mobile networks below share the same MNC, 11.

Country MNC Mobile Carrier Name
Korea, South 11 Korea Cable Telecom(t-plus), Eco-mobile
Hong Kong (PRC) 11 China-Hong Kong Telecom
Cambodia 11 Excell
Taiwan 11 Chunghwa Telecom
Malaysia 11 TM Homeline
Australia 11 Telstra Corporation Ltd.
Indonesia 11 PT XL Axiata Tbk
Philippines 11 PLDT via ACeS Philippines
Brunei Darussalam 11 Data Stream Technology
American Samoa (US) 11 Bluesky
Ethiopia 11 Ethio Telecom
Tanzania 11 Smile Telecoms Holdings Ltd.
Uganda 11 Uganda Telecom Ltd.
South Africa 11 South African Police Service
Brazil 11 Vivo S.A.
Chile 11 Celupago SA
Satellite Networks 11 Inmarsat

The codes themselves are assigned by the relevant regulator in each country.

MNCs in North America have 2 digits and in Europe they have 3.

The MNC code is used in conjunction with an MCC  (mobile country code)  to identify which mobile network operator (MNO) and country that a mobile phone user comes from.

What is the difference between MNC and MMC?

MNC is the Mobile Network Code and identifies a specific network in a country. MMC stands for Mobile Country Code and is a 3 digit number that identifies a specific country.

What is my MNC code?

Your MNC code can be identified by conducting an HLR lookup which provides a wealth of information on a specific mobile number.

The MNC is one of the data items that can be retrieved using an HLR lookup.

Complete list of MNC codes

List of MNC code

If you would like to see the details (and why wouldn’t you), here is a complete list of MNC codes in Europe.
Wikipedia also lists MNCs in North America as well as other regions.

 

Related articles
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What is HLR lookup? This allows you to find out all kinds of information about a mobile phone number.

What is a MSISDN? This is essentially your mobile number but not quite.

What is MO and MT SMS? This is all about the difference between sending and receiving SMS

 

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Henry Cazalet Managing Director
Co-founder and Director of The SMS Works, a low cost and powerful SMS API for developers. About Henry