Choosing a business number may not be first on your punch list, but it’s a vital decision that entrepreneurs shouldn’t overlook. Your number says a lot about you and which market you cater to. So what’s the deal with phone prefixes in Australia? To make the choice easier for you, we’ve put together a quick guide that’ll give you the low down on what sets each prefix apart.
The Australian Telephone Numbering Plan
All phone numbers are regulated by the Australian Communications and Media Authority, otherwise known as the ACMA. Carriers are allocated phone numbers in blocks of 1,000 or 10,000 for geographic numbers. All telcos are then obliged to sell these numbers within the standard zones where each are assigned.
When it comes to phone prefixes for countries, Australian numbers start with +61, followed by a single area code and eight succeeding local numbers. Each region is assigned a distinct area code. The NSW & ACT uses (02), VIC & TAS uses (03), QLD uses (07), and SA, NT & WA uses (08). All non-geographic numbers start with (1).
What are inbound numbers?
Aside from geographic numbers, the ACMA is also responsible for the regulation of inbound numbers. These are virtual numbers that start with phone prefixes like 13, 1300, and 1800. Unlike geographic numbers, these are not limited to a specific location or exchange. Instead, they route calls to your phone services such as fixed, VoIP, or mobile phones.
The difference between 13, 1300, and 1800 numbers
As virtual numbers, you can use your 13, 1300, and 1800 numbers for the entire life of your business. You can take it from one site to the next without any down time and set up needed. Moving can be as simple as changing your routing schemes to your mobile or new phone services.
13 Numbers are highly memorable numbers with a total of six digits, instead of the usual eight. Its length makes it a great fit for businesses that want a short number that’s easy to recall. Calls to 13 numbers are charged local rates while your business is based on rates on your plan. Unlike 1300 and 1800 numbers, they come with an annual government surcharge. If you have more to spend, this is the number for you.
1800 Numbers, also known as free call numbers, are numbers that can be called by your customers at no cost to them. These are best as after-service support lines that expect longer calls with customers. The entire cost of the call is shouldered by your business.
1300 Numbers, also known as local call numbers, are computerised numbers that can be called from any fixed line in Australia for as little as the cost of a local call. Since the cost is shared between you and your callers, it works best for startups and small businesses working on a tight budget.
Which phone prefixes are best for business?
Non-geographic numbers are widely recognised as business numbers. You get to show that you mean real business, thanks to routing schemes that boost your availability to your clients.