- How does a carriage service provider apply for an allocation of numbers from the ACMA?
- What is a Location Independent Communications Service?
- How do I apply for numbers which use IP-based services?
- How do I find out which carriage service provider has been allocated a specific number or number range?
- How do I find information about appropriately using geographic numbers?
- Where can I find a list of area codes?
- Where can I find a list of digital mobile number prefixes?
- Where can I find a list of carriage service provider identification codes?
- How do I acquire a particular number for my own use?
- What is a local call?
- What information is contained in a telephone number?
- How are call charges set?
- Should calls to local rate numbers (13 and 1300) cost exactly the same as local calls?
- Why did Australia's telephone numbers increase to 8 digits in length?
- Are there any plans to increase the length of telephone numbers again?
- My carriage service provider has billed me for annual numbering charges. Can they do this?
- Where can I find fictitious numbers for use on televisions, books movies etc?
- Further information
Carriage service providers apply to the ACMA for allocation of phone numbers with the exception of local rate and freecall numbers (see below). Numbers are allocated in blocks, usually of 10,000 or 1,000 for geographic numbers and 100,000 for mobile numbers. An application fee must accompany any application for allocation of numbers.
Location Independent Communications Services (LICS) are innovative communications services capable of voice telephony, such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). These services are typically nomadic as they are itinerant in nature or depart significantly from other service types specified in the Numbering Plan, particularly local services. A special services number range (0550) has been specified for use by LICS providers. See also How do I apply for numbers which use IP-based services?
You can apply for numbers for IP based services either on-line or in writing but before applying, you should refer to the Guidelines in Part 5 of Schedule 7 of the Telecommunications Numbering Plan Variation 2007 (No 3).
You are required to provide supporting information in your application for numbers that describes the nature of your IP-based service.
For WRITTEN applications read the guidelines attached to each form and complete the form 'Information required for all applications' (Form TO35) and either the:
- geographic numbers form - 'Local service geographic number application' (Form TO36) - if you offer IP-based services which are a close substitute for traditional fixed telephone services; or
- 0550 numbers form - 'Application for special service number allocations' (Form TO38) - if you offer IP-based services which are typically nomadic.
For On-line applications refer to the instructions on the On-Line home page. Note, you are required to provide a statement in your electronic application in the 'Nature of Service' free text field that for:
- geographic numbers [insert applicants name] has had regard to the Guidelines in Part 5 of Schedule 7 and understand their obligations with respect to the use of geographic numbers pursuant to Chapter 3 of the Numbering Plan; or
- 0550 numbers [insert applicants name] has had regard to the guidelines in Part 5 of Schedule 7.
See Applying for numbers.
How do I find out which carriage service provider has been allocated a specific number or number range?
The Register of Allocated Numbers lists the numbers allocated to carriage service providers by the ACMA.
This online search facility allows you to search the Register by number, carriage service provider, type of service, type of access or allocation date.
Carriage service providers (CSPs) using geographic numbers to provide services are required to use them in the standard zone unit (SZU) to which the numbers are allocated. This enables all CSPs to accurately determine whether an untimed local call applies. The use of a number outside the SZU identified by the ACMA in its Register of Allocated Numbers may result in the need to update the Register to reflect the new SZU.
Further information about ensuring the accuracy of geographic number records can be found in an industry guideline on the Communications Alliance website.
The ACMA form for applying to vary an allocation of geographic numbers (Form T046) can be found on the ACMA website.
A list of area codes is available from several sites on the ACMA website.
- A list of the four area codes that are used in Australia–(02), (03), (07) and (08) and the areas they cover.
- Schedule 2 to the Telecommunications Numbering Plan 1997 sets out the charging districts where specific area codes and the numbers for use within each area code region are to be used.
The area codes for capital cities can be sourced from the Telecommunications Numbering Plan 1997 or the Register of Allocated Numbers.
The Register of Allocated Numbers a list of digital mobile number prefixes and the carriage service providers to whom they have been allocated.
A list of carriage service provider identification codes (14xx codes) can be found in the Register of Allocated Numbers.
As an identification code can also be used for preselection, interconnection and override functions, you will need to contact the carriage service provider to whom the number has been allocated to find out what the code is being used for.
The ACMA allocates geographical and digital mobile numbers to carriage service providers in prescribed block sizes. It does not allocate numbers to individual customers. In order to acquire a specific number, an individual can apply to the carriage service provider who has been allocated the block of numbers which contains the desired number.
A full definition of an 'eligible local call' can be found in section 106 of Part 4 of the Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Act 1999.
However, a working definition can be summarised as 'local calls are made between phones within the same charging zone or to adjoining standard charging zones. Local calls are untimed and a flat rate fee applies".
Information about certain aspects of the service being called is contained in a telephone number. For example, an area code–(02), (03), (07) and (08)–at the beginning of a number indicates it is a regular geographic number, whereas an '04' prefix to a number identifies the service being called as a digital mobile service. A number beginning with '180x' is a freecall service (except from a mobile service), while a number with the prefix '1300' or '13' is charged at the local rate. Numbers with the prefix '19' are premium rate services, and numbers beginning with '12' are operator services.
This consistent approach to telephone numbering means that consumers can recognise that a particular telephone number is associated with a specific type of service, which assists in providing an indication as to call charging.
Further information is in the ACMA fact sheet Telephone numbers have special meanings.
Telephone call charges are set by carriage service providers, not by the ACMA or any other Government agency. Carriage service providers are not required to lodge tariffs with either the ACMA or the ACCC. In some instances, however, a 'price cap' limits the maximum applicable charge.
Call charges may be affected by different factors such as:
- the type of service used eg. mobile service or fixed line service;
- distance; or
- time of day or day of week.
For further information on call charging, refer to the ACMA fact sheet Telephone numbers have special meanings.
No. Different carriage service providers charge different amounts for calls to local rate numbers, when compared with their charges for local calls.
In recent years there had been a dramatic growth in Australia's phone system, especially in rapidly growing areas like the Gold Coast, Brisbane and Sydney. With increased demand for additional phone services, fax machines, pagers and mobile phones, as well as new phone companies, Australia was running out of numbers.
To remedy this, phone and fax numbers were given an extra one or two digits so that all geographic numbers have an eight digit number with a two digit area code. Special services such as '000' emergency, '13' and '1800' numbers and '04' mobile numbers were not subject to eight digit conversion.
See 8-digit numbering.
Adding a digit to telephone numbers increases the capacity of a numbering system, and is usually triggered by exhaustion, or expected exhaustion, of the numbering resources. At present there is no need to increase number lengths as there are sufficient numbers available to meet Australia's current and foreseeable future numbering needs. In addition, the release of new number ranges (when available) provides a means of increasing numbering capacity without the need to increase number length.
The release of new number ranges such as the (02) 8 range in Sydney and the (03) 8 range in Melbourne substantially increases the amount of numbers available for allocation. Phone companies who have been allocated new numbers by the ACMA must endeavour to ensure that phone users are adequately informed about the change so as to prevent consumer confusion and/or problems dialling the new numbers.
The ACMA administers an annual numbering charge which is applied to certain numbers and is collected from carriage service providers who hold the numbers. Geographic numbers such as 8-digit home phone numbers do not incur annual numbering charges.
Carriage service providers can recover these charges from customers. They cannot, however, charge their customers more than the ACMA determined amount of charge per number.
The ACMA has reserved some numbers for use in the media, promotions, books etc, that are purely fictitious in nature, more information can be found here.
Queries on Numbering issues can be made, in writing, to:
Manager, Telecommunications Licensing, Numbering and Submarine Cables Section
Australian Communications and Media Authority
PO Box 13112 Law Courts
Melbourne VIC 8010
Queries on Number portability issues can be made, in writing, to:
Manager, Broadband Applications and Services Section
Australian Communications and Media Authority
PO Box 13112 Law Courts
Melbourne VIC 8010
Tel: (03) 9963 6800 Fax: (03) 9963 6979