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’.
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.
Number portability rules
The obligations and rules for number portability for geographic numbers, freephone numbers (1800), local rate numbers (13, 1300) and mobile phone numbers are set out in Chapter 10 of the Numbering Plan.
Telecommunications industry codes set out operational arrangements for number portability. The industry codes specify processes for porting, time frames and minimum acceptable practices (such as hours of operation, targets and timeframes). The ACMA has a role enforcing compliance with registered telecommunications industry codes. Below are the number portability-related industry codes:
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.
Most mobile number ports are completed within three hours. Local and inbound number ports generally take longer to complete.
If your number is ported without your permission, you should contact your phone company to report the unauthorised port and request a port reversal. Read more about Unauthorised customer transfers.
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 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)
Sometimes criminals dishonestly obtain a customer’s identity information so that they can fraudulently port a mobile number to gain access to the customer’s bank accounts and make fraudulent transactions.
More information on what to do if you suspect your mobile number has been stolen can be found in Stolen mobile numbers (unauthorised mobile number porting).
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 a 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.
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.
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 do not provide out-of-area services and will not accept the out-of-area number.
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.
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 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