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Number::Phone - base class for Number::Phone::* modules


In a sub-class ...

    package Number::Phone::UK;
    use base 'Number::Phone';

and to magically use the right subclass ...

    use Number::Phone;

    $daves_phone = Number::Phone->new('+442087712924');
    $daves_other_phone = Number::Phone->new('+44 7979 866 975');
    # alternatively      Number::Phone->new('+44', '7979 866 975');
    # or                 Number::Phone->new('UK', '07979 866 975');

    if($daves_phone->is_mobile()) {

in the example, the +44 is recognised as the country code for the UK, so the appropriate country-specific module is loaded if available.

If you pass in a bogus country code not recognised by Number::Phone::Country, the constructor will return undef.


Early versions of this module allowed what are now object methods to also be called as class methods or even as functions. This was a bad design decision. Use of those calling conventions was deprecated in version 2.0, released in January 2012, and started to emit warnings. All code to support those calling conventions has now been removed.

Until 2017 we used KOS for the country code for Kosovo, that has now changed to XK. See Number::Phone::Country.

From version 3.4000 to 3.4003 inclusive we accepted any old garbage after +383 as being valid, as the Kosovo numbering plan had not been published. Now that that has been published, we use libphonenumber data, and validate against it.

The prefix codes in 3.4003 and earlier were managed by hand and so got out of date. After that release they are mostly derived from libphonenumber. libphonenumber's data includes carrier selection codes when they are mandatory for dialling so those are now included. This sometimes means that some random carrier has been arbitrarily privileged over others.

As of version 3.6000 the areaname method is documented as taking an optional language code. As far as I can tell providing this new parameter to the method as provided by all the subclasses on the CPAN won't do any harm.

As of version 3.6000 the areaname method pays attention to your locale settings and so you might start getting locale-appropriate versions of areanames instead of what you used to get.

3.8000 is a bit stricter about numbers and countries not matching in the constructor. This may affect users who specify places like Guernsey but provide numbers from Jersey or the Isle of Man, all three of which are separate jurisdictions squatting on random places all over the UK's number plan.

3.9002 is the last version that supported perls with 32-bit integers.


libphonenumber is a similar project for other languages, maintained by Google.

If you pass in a country code for which no supporting module is available, the constructor will try to use a 'stub' class under Number::Phone::StubCountry::* that uses data automatically extracted from Google's libphonenumber project. libphonenumber doesn't have enough data to support all the features of Number::Phone. If you want to disable this, then pass 'nostubs' when you use the module:

    use Number::Phone qw(nostubs);

Alternatively, if you want to *always* use data derived from libphonenumber, you should use the Number::Phone::Lib module instead. This is a subclass of Number::Phone that will use the libphonenumber-derived stub classes even when extra data is available in, for example, Number::Phone::UK. You might want to do this for compatibility or performance. Number::Phone::UK is quite slow, because it uses a huge database for some of its features.


Your perl must support 64 bit ints.

Because they are not supported by some libraries that we depend on, perl versions below 5.12 are not supported. If you have old versions of those libraries installed then Number::Phone may still work, but because I can't automatically test on those older versions any more that is liable to change without notice.


All Number::Phone classes can implement the following object methods.

The implementations in the parent class all return undef unless otherwise noted.

Those methods whose names begin is_ should return the following values:


The truth or falsehood can not be determined;

0 (zero)

False - eg, is_personal() might return 0 for a number that is assigned to a government department.

1 (one)


IS_* methods


The number is valid within the national numbering scheme. It may or may not yet be allocated, or it may be reserved. Any number which returns true for any of the following methods will also be valid.


The number has been allocated to a telco for use. It may or may not yet be in use or may be reserved.


The number has been assigned to a customer or is in use by the telco for its own purposes.


The number refers to a geographic area.


The number, when in use, can only refer to a fixed line.


The number, when in use, can only refer to a mobile phone.


The number, when in use, can only refer to a pager.


The number, when in use, can only refer to a VoIP service.


The number, when in use, can only refer to an ISDN service.


Callers will not be charged for calls to this number under normal circumstances.


The number, when in use, attracts special rates. For instance, national dialling at local rates, or premium rates for services.


The number, when in use, goes to a service of an adult nature, such as porn.


The number, when in use, goes to an individual person.


The number, when in use, goes to a business.


The number, when in use, goes to a government department. Note that the emergency services are considered to be a network service so should *not* return true for this method.


The number is charged like a domestic number (including toll-free or special rate), but actually terminates in a different country. This covers the special dialling arrangements between Spain and Gibraltar, and between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, as well as services such as the various "Country Direct"-a-likes. See also the country() method.


The number is some kind of network service such as the operator, directory enquiries, emergency services etc


The number is for use in fiction, such as TV and Radio drama programmes. It will not be allocated for use in real life.



The numeric code for this country. eg, 44 for the UK. Note that there is *no* + sign.

While the superclass does indeed implement this (returning undef) this is nonsense in just about all cases, so you should always implement this.


Returns some text in an appropriate character set saying who the telecoms regulator is, with optional details such as their web site or phone number.


Return the area code - if applicable - for the number. If not applicable, the superclass implementation returns undef.


Return the name for the area code - if applicable. If not applicable, the superclass definition returns undef. For instance, for a number beginning +44 20 it would return 'London'. Note that this may return data in non-ASCII character sets.

This may take an optional language code such as 'de' or 'en'. If you provide that then you will get back whatever the place name is in that language, if the data is available. If you don't provide it then it will first look at your locale settings and try to find a name in an appropriate language, and if nothing is found fall back to English.


This returns an approximate geographic location for the number if possible. Obviously this only applies to fixed lines! The data returned is, if defined, a reference to an array containing two elements, latitude and longitude, in degrees. North of the equator and East of Greenwich are positive. You may optionally return a third element indicating how confident you are of the location. Specify this as a number in kilometers indicating the radius of the error circle.

The superclass implementation returns undef, which is a reasonable default.


Return the subscriber part of the number.

While the superclass implementation returns undef, this is nonsense in just about all cases, so you should always implement this.


This returns a list-ref of the timezones that could be assoicated with a geographic number or with the country for non geographic numbers. Returns undef in the case that possible timezones are unknown.

Data is sourced from Google's libphonenumber project therefore implementation lies in the stub-countries which return timezones e.g. Europe/London, America/New_York. Non-stub implementations by default return their stub-country counterpart's result.

Results are sorted alphabetically.

This method should be considered experimental, and there may be some minor changes, especially for international "country" codes and non-geographic numbers.


Return the name of the telco assigned this number, in an appropriate character set and with optional details such as their web site or phone number. Note that this should not take into account number portability.

The superclass implementation returns undef, as this information is not easily available for most numbering plans.


Return the name of the telco to whom this number has been ported. If it is known to have not been ported, then return the same as operator() above.

The superclass implementation returns undef, indicating that you don't know whether the number has been ported.


Return a listref of all the is_... methods above which are true. Note that this method should only be implemented in the super-class. eg, for the number +44 20 87712924 this might return [qw(valid allocated geographic)].


Return a sanely formatted E.123-compliant version of the number, complete with IDD code, eg for the UK number (0208) 771-2924 it would return +44 20 8771 2924.

The superclass implementation returns undef, which is nonsense, so you should always implement this.


If you want something different from E.123, then pass this the name of a formatter to use.

For example, if you want to get "just the digits, ma'am", use the Raw formatter thus:

  Number::Phone->new('+44 20 8771 2924')->format_using('Raw');

which will return:


It is a fatal error to specify a non-existent formatter.


Given a country code (either two-letter ISO or numeric prefix), return the number formatted either nationally-formatted, if the number is in the same country, or as a nationally-preferred international number if not. Internally this uses the National and NationallyPreferredIntl formatters. Beware of the potential performance hit!


The two letter ISO country code for the country in which the call will terminate. This is implemented in the superclass and you will only have to implement your own version for countries where part of the number range is overlayed with another country.

Exception: for the UK, return 'uk', not 'gb'.

Specifically, the superclass implementation looks at the class name and returns the last two-letter code it finds. eg ...

  from Number::Phone::UK, it would return UK
  from Number::Phone::UK::IM, it would return IM
  from Number::Phone::NANP::US, it would return US
  from Number::Phone::FR::Full, it would return FR

If the number forwards to another number (such as a special rate number forwarding to a geographic number), or is part of a chunk of number-space mapped onto another chunk of number-space (such as where a country has a shortcut to (part of) another country's number-space, like how Gibraltar used to appear as an area code in Spain's numbering plan as well as having its own country code), then this method may return an object representing the target number. Otherwise it returns undef.

The superclass implementation returns undef.



Class method, return some hopefully useful text about the source of the data (if any) that drives a country-specific module. The implementation in the base class returns undef as the base class itself has no data source.


Class method which you should not over-ride, implemented in the base class. Returns the version of libphonenumber whose metadata was used for this release of Number::Phone. NB that this is derived from their most recent git tag, so may occasionally be a little ahead of the most recent libphonenumber release as the tag gets created before their release is built.

The current version of this is also documented in Number::Phone::Data.



Takes another Number::Phone object as its only argument and returns a string showing how to dial from the number represented by the invocant to that represented by the argument.


    Call from +44 20 7210 3613
           to +44 1932 341 111
     You dial 01932341111

    Call from +44 20 7210 3613
           to +44 1932 341 111
     You dial 01932341111

    Call from +44 20 7210 3613
           to +1 202 224 6361
     You dial 0012022246361

    Call from +1 202 224 6361
           to +44 20 7210 3613
     You dial 011442072103613

    Call from +44 7979 866975
           to +44 7979 866976
     You dial 07979 866976

This method is implemented in the superclass, but you may have to define certain other methods to assist it. The algorithm is as follows:

international call

Append together the source country's international dialling prefix (usually 00), then the destination country's country code, area code (if the country has such a thing), and subscriber number.

domestic call, different area code

Call the object's intra_country_dial_to() method.

If it dies, return undef.

If it returns anything other than undef, return that.

If it returns undef, append together the country's out-of-area calling prefix (usually 0 or 1), the destination area code and subscriber number.

domestic call, same area code

Call the object's intra_country_dial_to() method.

If it dies, return undef.

If it returns anything other than undef, return that.

If it returns undef, return the destination subscriber number.


Takes an object (which should be in the same country as the invocant) and returns either undef (meaning "use the default behaviour") or a dialling string. If it dies this means "I don't know how to dial this number".

The superclass implementation is to die.

Note that the meaning of undef is a bit different for this method.

Why die by default? Some countries have weird arrangements for dialling some numbers domestically. In fact, both the countries I'm most familiar with do, so I assume that others do too.



Can be called with either one or two parameters. The *first* is an optional country code (see the country() method). The other is a phone number. If a country code is specified, and a subclass for that country is available, the phone number is passed to its constructor unchanged.

If only one parameter is passed, then we try to figure out which is the right country subclass to use by pre-pending a + sign to the number if there isn't one, and looking the country up using Number::Phone::Country. That gives us a two letter country code that is used to try to load the right module. We then pass the number through to that module's constructor and return whatever it says (which may be undef if you pass in an invalid number - see SUBCLASSING below).

The constructor returns undef if it can not figure out what country you're talking about, or an object based on Google's libphonenumber data if there's no complete country-specific module available.

It is generally assumed that numbers are complete and unambiguous - ie you can't normally pass just the local part to the constructor if the number has an area code. Any subclass's constructor which contravenes this should document it.

If you call it with two parameters, then the two must match. ie, if you do this:

    Number::Phone->new("FR", "+441424220001")

you will get undef back because whiel the number is valid, it ain't French. This usually applies to the case where a single country's number plan contains other jurisdictions, such as the case of Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man squatting on the United Kingdom's number plan. For example, this fails, because the number is from Guernsey, not Jersey:

    Number::Phone->new('JE', '01481256789')

For backward compatibility and convenience, however, if you ask for an object representing a number in the "host" country but pass a number for the "sub-country" then you'll get back a valid object representing the sub-country:

    my $gg_number = Number::Phone->new('GB', '01481256789')


Sub-classes should implement methods as above, including a new() constructor. The constructor should take a single parameter, a phone number, and should validate that. If the number is valid (use your is_valid() method!) then you can return a blessed object. Otherwise you should return undef.

The constructor *must* be capable of accepting a number with the + sign and the country's numeric code attached, but should also accept numbers in the preferred local format (eg 01234 567890 in the UK, which is the same number as +44 1234 567890) so that users can go straight to your class without going through Number::Phone's magic country detector.

Subclasses' names should be Number::Phone::XX, where XX is the two letter ISO code for the country, in upper case. So, for example, France would be FR and Ireland would be IE. As usual, the UK is an exception, using UK instead of the ISO-mandated GB. NANP countries are also an exception, going like Number::Phone::NANP::XX.


I release updates approximately every three months, including new data.

I will also do intercalary releases to fix *serious* bugs in the code and when *large* data updates (eg when a country's numbering scheme changes) are brought to my attention.

I will not normally do a release just because a country has added some new number range. If this irks you then I would welcome a discussion on how you can best write a patch, with tests, that will reliably incorporate updated data from libphonenumber. Much of the needed code already exists in the repository but it is not fit for end-user consumption.


Please report bugs by at, including, if possible, a test case.


There is a mailing list for discussion and help. Please subscribe at

Kindly hosted by Shadowcat.

SEE ALSO, a similar project for Java, C++ and Javascript. Number::Phone imports its data.




Copyright 2004 - 2024 David Cantrell <>

This software is free-as-in-speech software, and may be used, distributed, and modified under the terms of either the GNU General Public Licence version 2 or the Artistic Licence. It's up to you which one you use. The full text of the licences can be found in the files GPL2.txt and ARTISTIC.txt, respectively.

Some files are under the Apache licence, a copy of which can be found in the file Apache-2.0.txt.


This module is also free-as-in-mason software.