Number portability: information for industry | ACMA

Number portability: information for industry

The regulatory framework

The ACCC has declared local, mobile and freephone and local rate services portable—enabling a customer to change provider and keep their number.

The obligations and rules for number portability are set out in Chapter 10 of the Telecommunications Numbering Plan 2015.

Industry codes set out procedures between providers to enable a customer to retain their phone number, including time frames for portability transactions.

The ACMA has a role in enforcing compliance with the numbering plan and industry codes. Use the links below to find out more.

Obligations on providers for a mobile, local and inbound porting

The losing provider:

  • must port a number at the request of a customer
  • cannot refuse or delay a porting request if the customer has an outstanding debt.

The gaining provider must:

  • have authorisation to initiate a port
  • advise the customer not to disconnect their service, as only an active service can be ported
  • advise the customer that there may be costs associated with changing provider and that an early termination fee with their current provider may apply
  • provide information about contract terms and conditions.

Mobile number portability

The procedures for porting a mobile number between providers are set out in the Mobile Number Portability Code (MNP Code).

The key points include:

  • 90 per cent of ports must be completed within three hours and 99 per cent of ports must be completed within two business days.
  • if a port request is unauthorised or made in error, the gaining and losing provider must follow the port reversal process in the MNP Code to reverse the port.

Local number portability

The procedures for porting a local number between providers is set out in the Local Number Portability Code (LNP Code).

The key points include:

  • Portability obligations apply to the provider that issues the number to its customer, and to any upstream providers/carriers involved in providing the customer with a local service.
  • Terms and conditions on which LNP is to be provided (referred to as bilateral agreements) are to be agreed between all involved parties. However, failure to establish bilateral agreements does not relieve any party from the obligation to provide LNP.
  • Providers cannot contract out of their obligations. Contractual arrangements with other providers and carriers should not be used as the sole basis for refusing to port a number that can otherwise be ported.
  • A number from a group of contiguous numbers (for example, a block of 100 numbers) can be ported individually.
  • The default process for porting a simple telephone service is Category A, however a provider may use the Category C process, which requires project management and is typically used to port complex telephone services, with a simple telephone service.

New rules for migrating to the NBN

The ACMA announced new rules on 21 September 2018, which will help consumers keep their local telephone number when moving to the NBN.

  • The Consumer Information Standard requires providers to advise a consumer if they can keep their telephone number when migrating to the NBN before entering into a contract.
  • The Service Continuity Standard requires providers not to disconnect a customer’s service until the NBN service is operational. Providers must also ensure that a consumer can continue to use their telephone number on the NBN if they are not changing providers.

Inbound number portability

The procedures for porting an inbound number—freephone numbers (1800) and local rate numbers (13, 1300)—between providers is set out in the Inbound Number Portability Code (INP Code).

The key points include:

  • Portability obligations apply to the provider that issues numbers to its customers and to any upstream provider involved in providing an end-customer with a service.
  • Terms and conditions on which INP is to be provided, referred to as bilateral agreements, are to be agreed between all involved parties. However, failure to establish bilateral agreements does not relieve any party from the obligation to provide INP.
  • All carriers who participate in INP must complete the ‘INP Carrier Contact Matrix’ in the INP Code.

Making an enquiry

If your customer has a porting issue that cannot be resolved directly with you, they should contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman.

More information

More detailed information about your responsibilities about mobile, local and inbound number portability can be found in the links below.

Contact us

If you have any further enquiries, contact:

Industry Services and Numbering Section
numbering@acma.gov.au or (03) 9963 6800

Last updated: 10 December 2018