ACMA outlines overhaul of telephone numbering

Mobile users will soon see "05" numbers, among other changes.

Credit: John Karakatsanis (Flickr/CC licence).

Credit: John Karakatsanis (Flickr/CC licence).

Telephone numbering must evolve as voice becomes just another app, the Australian Communications and Media Authority said. As part of a series of reforms for the numbering system, the ACMA is rolling out new "05" numbers for mobile and loosening restrictions.

“Our vision for telephone numbering is for numbers to be flexible and readily accommodated as new technologies, uses and new entrants emerge in the communications sector,” said ACMA chairman, Chris Chapman.

“In the networked world, voice services will be ‘apps’ among many other communications and media apps,” Chapman said. “These apps will be used when, where and how they are wanted—numbering and addressing will also need to work this way.”

Changes underway by the ACMA will better position Australia for IP voice services coming through the NBN and next-generation mobile, he said.

ACMA changes to telephone numbering include:

  • More flexible use of general numbers
  • Addition of "05" numbers for mobile
  • Simpler and more transparent numbering arrangements
  • Improved number management and charging, including removing charges from carrier access codes

The ACMA plans to maintain existing arrangements for premium services, as well as existing directory and information services numbers, it said.

The ACMA has predicted that "04" numbers used for mobile will run out as soon as 2017 based on current demand. At that point, it will begin to roll out the "05" numbers.

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