Mobile number portability FAQ | ACMA

Mobile number portability FAQ

Mobile number portability allows you to keep your mobile service number when changing from one service provider to another.

Taking your number to another provider is known as ‘porting’. Porting means you can shop around for the best mobile service without the hassle of changing your number.

Chapter 10 of the Telecommunications Numbering Plan 2015 sets out the rules for portability. The process for porting a mobile number between providers is set out in the Mobile Number Portability Code.

Mobile number portability covers all mobile service numbers except for satellite-only mobile services.

  1. I want to port my mobile number—is my provider obliged to port my number?
  2. What is require d to authorise a port?
  3. Can I switch providers if I'm still on contract with my current provider?
  4. Can I change providers if I owe my current provider money?
  5. What fees may apply when porting?
  6. Can I keep my number and change providers if I'm on a pre-paid service?
  7. Can I change providers and go from a post-paid to a pre-paid service?
  8. Do I need a new handset when I change providers?
  9. I've decided to port. Who do I approach—my current provider or the new provider?
  10. What should the new provider do before I port?
  11. Should I disconnect my service?
  12. How long will the port take to be completed?
  13. Can I nominate the date and time at which my service is ported?
  14. Will I get a bill from my previous provider after I port my number?
  15. Can my number be ported without my permission?
  16. What can I do if my mobile number is ported without my permission?
  17. What can I do if my mobile number has been illegally ported by a scammer?
  18. I am having difficulty porting my number—who can help?

1. I want to port my mobile number, is my provider obliged to port my number?

Your current provider must port out your number if you request to port and should not prevent you from keeping your number when changing providers. However, a new provider does not have to accept a port request. You need to find a new provider that is willing to accept the port request first.

NOTE: It’s important that you do not disconnect your mobile service before changing to a new provider. You will not be able to use your mobile number if you disconnect your service.

2. What is required to authorise a port?

The new provider must obtain your authorisation before porting your number. The industry codes C628:2015 Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Codeand C570:2009 Mobile Number Portability set out requirements in this area. Specifically, your new provider must obtain your consent and ensure that the person requesting the port is authorised to do so before processing a port request. The G651:2017 Customer Authorisation Industry Guideline details what a customer authorisation should contain.

3. Can I switch providers if I'm still in a contract with my current provider?

Yes—but you will still have to pay any amounts owing on your existing contract, just as you would if you cancelled your service.

4. Can I change providers if I owe my current provider money?

Yes – your current provider cannot refuse to port your number if you owe them money. However, you will still be obligated to pay any outstanding fees/charges after you port.

5. What fees may apply when porting?

Your current provider may charge you a fee for porting out your number. This should be reasonable. If you feel this is unreasonable, you may raise the matter with the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) if you cannot resolve your concern directly with your provider.

6. Can I keep my number and change providers if I'm on a pre-paid service?

Yes. Mobile number portability applies to all mobile services, including pre-paid mobile services.  

7. Can I change providers and go from a post-paid to a pre-paid service?

Yes—but this won’t cancel any contract obligations you have with your current provider.

8. Do I need a new handset when I change providers?

No. In general, you will only require a new SIM card when porting.

9. I've decided to port. Who do I approach—my current provider or the new provider?

If you want to port your number, you should contact your new provider and request a port. Your new provider will then contact your current provider to arrange the port. Your new provider will advise you when the port is completed.

10. What should the new provider do before I port?

The new provider must:

  • have your authorisation to process a port
  • advise you to not disconnect your service as only an active number can be ported
  • advise you that there may be costs associated with your current service and that an early termination fee with your current provider may apply
  • provide information about contract terms and conditions.

11Should I disconnect my service?

No. Only an active number can be ported to another provider. Do not disconnect your service if you want to keep your number. Your service with your previous provider will be automatically disconnected when your service with your new provider is activated.

12. How long will the port take to be completed?

Most mobile number ports are completed within three hours.

13. Can I nominate the date and time at which my service is ported?

Yes, you can nominate a date and time for your service to be ported for up to 30 days in advance.

14. Will I get a bill from my previous provider after I port my number?

Yes, you will get a final bill if you have incurred any outstanding charges between your last bill and the time of the port.

15. Can my number be ported without my permission?

Only the account holder, or authorised representative, of a mobile service can authorise a port. The new provider is required to verify that the person requesting the port is authorised to do so before processing a port request.

16. What can I do if my mobile number is ported without my permission?

If an unauthorised port does occur, contact your previous provider as soon as possible to arrange for the port to be reversed. Click on this link for further information about Unauthorised customer transfer.

17. What can I do if my mobile number has been illegally ported by a scammer?

If you suspect that a criminal has ported your mobile number without your authorisation, you should:

  • Contact your previous provider and request a port reversal.
  • Contact your bank and change your bank passwords (if you suspect the criminal may be trying to access your bank account).
  • Report any fraud to the Australian Federal Police.
  • Contact IDCARE for support and free assistance on identity crime and cyber-related security.

Click on the link for further information about Stolen mobile numbers (unauthorised mobile number porting).

18. I am having difficulty porting my number—who can help?

If you are having difficulty porting your mobile number and you are unable to resolve this directly with your provider, you can contact the TIO, who offers a free dispute resolution service to individuals and small businesses with a complaint about their telephone or internet service provider.

Further Information

Contact Us

Customer Service Centre
1300 850 115 or info@acma.gov.au

Last updated: 19 February 2019