Number portability lets you keep your number when changing from one phone company to another. Taking your telephone number to another phone company is known as ‘porting’.
You can port a number used with a:
- local service (most numbers beginning with 02, 03, 07 and 08)
- mobile service (numbers beginning with 04)
- freephone (1800) and local rate (13 and 1300) services often referred to ‘inbound services’.
Use the links below to find out about porting your number.
Number portability rules
Your current phone company must port your number if you request to port and should not prevent you from keeping your number. However, a new phone company does not have to accept a port request. You need to find a new phone company that is willing to accept the port request first.
The obligations and rules for number portability—including rules for the allocation, transfer, surrender, portability and use of different types of numbers, including geographic numbers, freephone numbers (1800), local rate numbers (13, 1300), premium rate numbers (19) and mobile phone numbers—are set out in Chapter 10 of the Numbering Plan.
The number portability industry codes set out porting procedures between phone companies.
If you want to port your number to a new phone company:
- Contact the new phone company and request a port. The new phone company will then contact your current phone company to arrange the port.
- Do not disconnect your service with your current phone company as you cannot port your number if it has been disconnected.
Obligations on new phone company
The new phone company 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 existing service and that an early termination fee with your current phone company may apply
- provide information about contract terms and conditions.
Fees and charges
Fees and charges may apply when porting your number from one phone company to another. This may include:
- an early termination fee if you break your contract with your current phone company
- outstanding call charges with your current phone company
- a porting fee, which may be charged by your current or new phone company.
Your current phone company cannot refuse to port your number if you owe them money for any outstanding balance on your account.
Mobile number portability
The process for porting a mobile number between phone companies is set out in the Mobile Number Portability Code (MNP Code). Key points are below.
- pre-paid services can be ported
- most mobile ports are completed within three hours, but delays may be caused by system interruptions or during periods of high demand.
The mobile number portability FAQ provides a list of commonly asked questions and answers relating to mobile number porting.
Stolen mobile numbers (unauthorised mobile number porting)
An unauthorised port is when criminals dishonestly obtain identity information to authorise the porting of a mobile number. The ported number can then be used, together with other identifying or security information (like account numbers or passwords), to access bank accounts dishonestly and make fraudulent transactions.
More information on what to do if you suspect your mobile number has been illegally ported can be found in Stolen mobile numbers (unauthorised mobile number porting).
Local number portability
The process for porting a local number between phone companies is set out in the Local Number Portability Code (LNP Code).
If your number is ported without your permission, you should contact your phone company to report the unauthorised port and request a port reversal.
NBN and local number portability
The ACMA recently announced new rules, which will help you to keep your local telephone number when moving to the NBN.
- The Consumer Information Standard requires phone companies to advise you if you can keep your telephone number when migrating to the NBN prior to entering into contract.
- The Service Continuity Standard requires phone companies to not disconnect your service until the NBN service is operational. Phone companies must also ensure that you can continue to use your telephone number on the NBN if you are not changing your phone company.
The new rules took effect on 21 September 2018.
Moving to a new house and keeping your local number with the same phone company
This is called 'location portability' and is possible as long as your phone company is prepared to offer a service on your number at the new location. You should contact your phone company to confirm whether it can provide a service on your number at your new location.
If your new house is located outside the normal geographic area for that number, your phone company may offer you a service with an out-of-area number. The next section provides information about porting out-of-area numbers.
Porting out-of-area local numbers
Phone companies can supply customers with a telephone number outside its normal geographic area. For example, a customer who lives in Sydney may have a Melbourne number (03) 9XXX XXXX.
Customers with out-of-area numbers may not be able to port their number to another phone company because some phone companies won't accept the out-of-area number. This is because they use technology that prevents them from providing services to numbers that are out-of-area.
If a phone company offers you an out-of-area number, they are obliged to notify you that you may not be able to port the number to another phone company in the future. Read more about out-of-area geographic numbers.
Inbound number portability
The process for porting an inbound number between phone companies is set out in the Inbound Number Portability Code (INP Code). Inbound numbers include freephone numbers (1800) and local rate numbers (13, 1300).
Making a complaint
If you have a porting issue that cannot be resolved directly with your phone company, you may contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman or phone 1800 062 058.
More detailed information about mobile, local and inbound number portability can be found in the links below.
If you have any further enquiries, contact:
Customer Service Centre
1300 850 115 or firstname.lastname@example.org