Hearing ‘the number you have dialed is unallocated’ the moment you called someone is pretty displeasing. And the frustration keeps building up when the call fails several times because of this one reason. Failed communication during an emergency is perfect for losing one’s patience. An unallocated number means that it has not been assigned as a subscription number to the network yet. So your dialed number is either not assigned to a service provider or not valid. The number may also no longer belong to a user and it may remain unallocated until it is subscribed.

Also, if you haven’t paid your phone bill on time several times, you are more likely to get your network service to cancel your service. Then if someone dials your number, they may get this message of unallocated. You will face the same if you dial the number of such people who have unpaid telephone bills for which the telephone company cut the service.

Several reasons may result in an unallocated number but if you know how to handle them, nothing can be the problem here.

What does unallocated mean?

A phone number can belong to an individual, a certain business, or an organization. Your country has a number of private or run by government administrators that provide phone numbers to those organizations or individuals. Every number in your country is provided by them and if there are any numbers not provided by them, that number is illegal. And the numbers in service are all included in their allocated database.

An administrator provides a block of numbers to a provider. There are lots of sim card providers in every country. Those providers create one unique number for each individual. Every number is different from others even by one different digit. Unless the number is given to a person or organization through some procedures, those numbers will be unallocated. The moment one buys that number and finishes the paperwork, it will go allocated. That means the numbers in service are allocated and those that are not in service unallocated. As simple as that.

Even after providing the number, both the administrator and the service provider manage them. That’s why they can make allocated numbers go unallocated if there seems to be any problem.

Other reasons for Unallocated number

There are some other possibilities when your dialed number is marked as unassigned. Whether your recipient has these issues or not, you’ll be able to spot them once you get to know them. Problems can be:

Wrong Number: It’s the first and most important thing you need to do. This means double-checking the number you’re dialing to see if any digits are missing or replaced. You can receive that message because of dialing the wrong number.

Network problem: This problem can occur if there is a fault or delay in the calling system. This is a temporary issue and will most likely be resolved shortly. Network problem leads to numbers go not being in service and that is why you may suspect it as an unallocated number.

Fake or Spam Number: A scam is another reason to get this message or call from an unassigned number. A fake number is a fraudulent number used by spammers, fraudsters, or protocols. The software can generate numbers similar to the original ones to cheat or use in disguise. It depends on the mentality and profession of the person. However, it is best not to accept these calls. Scammers can buy unallocated numbers from a third-party operator to hide their identity. So if an unknown number called you and when you called them again to hear the unallocated message, the best is to ignore it. To be extra safe, check out this article and learn how to look up a scammer phone number

When your operator’s system cannot find your calling number, it is unassigned. This does not mean that this is a permanent problem.

Phone bill due: When a person does not pay their phone bill on time, the phone company limits or temporarily shuts down the person’s carrier’s system. This remains the same until he pays his due bill. Meanwhile, other people calling them will not be valid or assigned.

How are phone numbers assigned?

As we stated before, when a phone number is not assigned to any certain person or organization, it will be deemed unallocated. In order for the phone calls to go through the right route, connection, and telephone service, telephone companies give different and unique numbers to every single user. The administrator is on hold for the number of blocks that he will give to the providers. The providers will then create unique numbers for individuals so that even one digit can make them different. And the process to create the numbers varies.

However, the most common format is E.164. It means the number will start with the country code, then the area code, and then the subscriber’s number to fill up the necessary digits.

Country code: You probably know your country code which consists of 1-3 digits. The phone number will get the country code in which you are living. Suppose you are a citizen of England, but you live in the USA. Then the number you will use will contain the USA code.

Area Code: The area code comes after the country code. It indicates the number of regions you dwell in.

Local number: It does not have any specific digits and this is the part where unique digits are placed.

Calls from unallocated numbers

Most of us have good experience with these non-localized numbers. Just as we dial an unknown number, we also receive calls from these numbers. These numbers are used primarily for advertising purposes. But sometimes, it can be spam. Sometimes they cause severe problems like infecting phones and transmitting viruses. Such problems can cause huge damage like loss of phone data, leak of personal information, etc.

The software generates these spam phone numbers. Hackers do this on purpose. This software gives spammers, scammers, telemarketers, and robocallers a way to show the number on your caller ID without giving away their real phone numbers.

They know you’re more likely to pick up the phone if you see a 10-digit number instead of seeing a “Private” or “Unreachable” message. So you have to be careful and be informed about such situations, so you don’t get into unwanted problems.

How to get an unallocated phone number?

You don’t need to say which country you are in, but I can only answer here in the US; all valid numbers are already assigned to various carriers here in the US. I remember one of our customers requested that we get a block of 10,000 numbers from their operator. I don’t know their reason for the whole area code thing, but the carrier needed to set up a previously unused area code for this company. This was the only way I knew of to guarantee that you could get a previously unused and unassigned number or group of numbers. I don’t know what the cost was to create this new area code because I wasn’t involved in the process of ordering it.

Why do phone companies provide numbers to scammers?

Each primary carrier has one or more blocks of numbers that it passes as source telephone numbers for caller identification purposes when a remote switch does not pass a valid source number when using the SS7 protocol for inter-switch communication.

Telephone companies do this because they receive a portion of the cost of the call as a payment in transit, allowing their exchange to be used to connect the call from point A to point B.

Phone companies get paid when they terminate a call when a human or machine answers the call and a virtual circuit is established between the endpoints.

So phone companies have an incentive to more or less temporarily hand these numbers over to fraudsters because they make money completing phone calls and make absolutely no money preventing fraud.

Temporary phone number

A temporary phone number is a service that allows mobile phone users to hide their private information while having a temporary contact number for convenience or anonymity.

Getting a temporary phone number is a perfect solution if you need to avoid spam calls or want to keep your number out of the public eye for security reasons. All you have to do is select an available prefix and enter your personal information.

It can help you stay anonymous when you want it. Temporary phone numbers are a great way to avoid unwanted phone conversations or text messages and allow you to screen the people contacting you.

How to recover unallocated numbers?

The number you have dialed is unallocated and is much more annoying to hear. Especially when you are in a hurry or in the case of an emergency. So, firstly check if the number is valid or not. Dial the number carefully, and if you hear this, dial again. 

You can also contact the service provider and ask for help. You can contact your service provider to check your connection and payment history. Finding out your problem is a must for solving the problem properly as you may not want any trouble or save your precious time. 

Why does my cell phone ring when I say, “Sorry, that’s not a valid area code” when I answer?

Many call centers have outbound dialing features for things like sales calls. Sometimes someone fails to configure the system correctly.

What is supposed to happen is that the system calls the numbers from the list. If someone picks up the call, they are supposed to transfer the call to an available agent. The system minimizes the time agents waste listening to ringtones and voice messages and maximizes call centers’ efficiency.

If something is misconfigured, the transfer function may fail. As a result, people hear messages similar to what you describe. Rather than being transferred to an agent, you are sent to a dead end.


Hopefully, the following information helped you understand why you face the problem and several reasons behind this. If you face this, try to find the real reason behind this. You can follow our guidelines and solve the problem carefully. Contact the service team to ask your question, and you will get your answer from the experts. Most importantly, recheck the number and dial again because it will be a matter of great agony if the whole problem you face is because of your silly mistakes. 

Act according to the problem to stay safe. You can tell us in the comment section what problems you are facing and your experience.

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Beatrice has started writing to research more to have in-depth knowledge of things she has an interest in and this journey of hers has contributed a lot to our writing team.

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