Number portability - background information | ACMA

Number portability - background information

Local number portability

The report on Implementation of local number portability in Australia provides detailed background information on the implementation of LNP in Australia and reflects on some of the issues considered by the former ACA at that time.

On 27 March 1998, the former ACA set dates for the implementation of local number portability. The interim date for the introduction of limited LNP was set for 1 May 1998 and the implementation date for the introduction of full LNP was set for 1 January 2000.

Equivalent service criteria

All local service carriage service providers are required to offer full LNP using a technical solution that provides equivalent service.

The Equivalent service criteria for local number portability, embodies self-attestation principles but reserves the right of ACMA to conduct random audits of carriers' and CSPs' documentation.

Local rate & freephone number portability

In May 1999, the former ACA announced its decision to fix 16 November 2000 as the implementation date for local rate and freephone number portability and confirmed its intention that local rate and freephone number portability will be implemented via a number pool.

The former ACA's report on Local rate and freephone number portability provides detailed background information on the implementation of FLRNP in Australia.

Industry Number Management Services Ltd (INMS) has been delegated powers under the Numbering Plan to allocate a small selection of 13/1300/1800 numbers on behalf of the ACMA. The INMS system also facilitates the portability of 13/1300/1800 telephone services.

Mobile number portability (MNP)

The Mobile number portability information centre provides further information on MNP.


In March 1998, the former ACA released its report on Technical options for MNP implementation in Australia. Following examination of the former ACA report, the ACCC requested that further investigative work be conducted on the options available for MNP, together with the implementation issues associated with these options. In December 1998, the former ACA released its update to the March 1998 report on Technical options For MNP implementation in Australia (PDF, 170 kb).

On October 1 1999, the former ACA received a Direction from the ACCC requiring it to set the earliest practicable date by which MNP should be available to all of Australia's mobile telephone customers (except those on the analog AMPS network). To assist in fixing the earliest practicable implementation date, in November 1999, the former ACA prepared a Public discussion paper to gather information.

In May 2000, the former ACA made public its Final view that mobile number portability must be made available by all Australian mobile carriage service providers as of 25 September 2001.

Equivalent service criteria

Equivalent service criteria for mobile number portability was developed to ensure that customers who port their mobile number will not be treated any differently or suffer inferior service compared to customers who do not take their number with them when they port.

Other number portability documents

Also included on this page are links to previous ACA/AUSTEL documents relating to work on the introduction of number portability:

  • a 25 June 1997 information paper, which deals with the formal request for AUSTEL to arbitrate commercial arrangements for local number portability between Telstra and Optus. While AUSTEL reached the view that it did not have the power to reach a decision on the local number portability arbitration, this information paper contains AUSTEL's substantive views on number portability developed during the course of the LNP arbitration.
  • a Request for proposals: Number portability for 1800/13/1300 services. This request by AUSTEL on behalf of the telecommunications industry sought proposals from interested parties regarding the supply, installation, commissioning and/or management of facilities or services to support number portability for 1800/13/1300 (freephone and local rate) number ranges.
  • Planning principles for the implementation of number portability which is a common set of guidelines and criteria developed in June 1996 for use by AUSTEL's Portability Study Group in developing and selecting strategies and models for implementation of number portability.

You can also browse:

  • Register of declarations established under under subsection 3.39 of the Telecommunications Numbering Plan 1997.
  • Telecommunications Act 1997 (Part 22 deals with the making of the Numbering Plan)

Contact us

Industry Services and Numbering Section or (03) 9963 6800

Last updated: 31 July 2017