Numbering overview | ACMA

Numbering overview

The ACMA regulates telephone numbering in Australia. This includes how numbers are used, transferred and withdrawn.

If you’re a carriage service provider (CSP), here’s an overview of what you need to know.


The Integrated Public Number Database (IPND) is an industry-wide database containing all listed and unlisted public telephone numbers managed by Telstra. It is a critical source of information for emergency and law enforcement purposes. Read about your obligations in relation to the IPND.

The Numbering Plan

The Numbering Plan sets out the framework for the numbering of carriage services in Australia and how these numbers are used. It specifies the rules for the allocation, transfer, surrender, portability and use of different types of numbers in connection with the supply of carriage services. The Numbering Plan covers geographic numbers, freephone numbers (1800), local rate numbers (13, 1300), premium rate numbers (19) and mobile phone numbers.


Smartnumbers are 13, 1300 (local rate) or 1800 (freephone) telephone numbers. Businesses, individuals and other entities may purchase the rights of use to 13, 1300 and 1800 numbers through the ACMA's Numbering System.


Number portability lets a customer keep their number when changing from one provider to another. Read more about porting mobile, local and inbound numbers.

Rights of use of numbers

The ACMA allocates telephone numbers to providers and they issue telephone numbers to their customers. When a customer is issued a telephone number, they become the ‘Rights of Use’ (ROU) holder for that number. This means they have a contractual relationship with a provider to use that number. ROU are only retained while the number is connected to an active service. The Rights of Use of Numbers Code outlines provider obligations about reserving, issuing, porting, disconnecting and quarantining numbers. 

Managing numbers

The ACMA regulates untimed local calls, charging zones and precincts. We actively manage geographic and digital mobile numbers to ensure that existing numbers are used efficiently, and delay the introduction of additional numbers for as long as possible. Find out more about our approach to conserving and creating additional numbers.

Contact us

If you have any further enquiries, contact:

Industry Services and Numbering Section or (03) 9963 6800


Last updated: 31 October 2018