A Guide to Phone Prefixes in Australia

a guide to phone prefixes in australia

A Guide to Phone Prefixes in Australia

When it comes to setting up and running a business, choosing a phone number is likely the last thing on your mind – and yet it’s a vital decision that entrepreneurs should pay more attention to.


On the surface, it may seem trivial, but there are several ways in which it can influence your business.


Fact is, your phone number says more about you and the market that you cater to than you may realise. So, what’s it all about?


What is the importance of the various phone prefixes in Australia, and what does it mean for you and your business?


To make life a little easier for you here’s a quick and easy guide to selecting the perfect phone prefix in Australia, for you.



Understanding the Australian telephone numbering plan

In Australia, all phone numbers are regulated by an authority – the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).


Carriers are given allocated phone numbers in blocks of either 1,000 or 10,000 depending on their geographical location.


Those telecommunication companies are then obligated to sell these numbers within the standard zones to which they are assigned.


Take the phone number prefixes for countries as an example: Australian numbers begin with a +61. Following that they are given a single area code, followed by 8 succeeding local numbers.


Each of the regions in Australia is given a unique area code:

  • New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory: (02)
  • Victoria and Tasmania: (03)
  • Queensland: (07)
  • South Australia, Northern Territory, and Western Australia: (08)
  • Any non-geographical numbers: (1)



What are “inbound” numbers?

Now that we understand more about geographic numbers, the Australian Communications and Media Authority are also responsible for regulating inbound numbers.


Inbound numbers are “virtual numbers” that begin with phone prefixes such as 13, 1300, and 1800.


Whereas geographic numbers are limited to a specific location, inbound numbers are routed to your phone services, e.g., VoIP or mobile phones.



What are the differences between 13, 1300, and 1800 numbers?

Being virtual numbers, you can use 13, 1300, and 1800 numbers indefinitely for your business.


It can be taken from one site to the next (no matter the geographical location) without there being any need for downtime or additional set-up.


All that is required is to simply alter your routing scheme.


  • 13 numbers are easy to remember as they only have a total of 6 digits instead of the typical The fact that the number is so short makes it ideal for business owners who want a nice and easy number for their customers to recall. 13 numbers are charged with local rates.
  • 1300 numbers: aka “local call numbers” are computerised numbers that can be called from any fixed line throughout Australia, and will only be charged the cost of a local call. The cost is shared between both you and the caller making this type of phone number the ideal option for small businesses and start-ups that need to maintain a stricter budget in the short term.
  • 1800 numbers: aka “free call numbers” are those that are of absolutely no cost to your customers. These types of numbers are best-suited to service support lines where longer calls are expected. Whilst the total cost of the call will be picked up by your business – there are many advantages (such as customer satisfaction and brand loyalty).



Which phone prefix is best for your business?

Deciding on which phone prefix number is best for your business is fairly straightforward. It all depends on what stage you are at in your business evolution and what you would like to achieve.


  • 1300 numbers are the cheapest
  • 1800 numbers are much more expensive, but if your business is of such a size that requires round-the-clock customer support, it’s always worth extending this service to your customers
  • Non-geographical numbers are recognised as being business numbers. As such, if you want to let people know that you are the real deal, then having a recognised business number will add to your authenticity and authority




Again, something as seemingly trivial as picking a phone number for your business might not appear as though it would have all that much of an impact, but it does.


This is something that you should certainly give some thought and if you find yourself in need of more advice or would like to explore it further, please do not hesitate to contact us today.

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