What is the difference between a CAT-A and CAT-C Port and why is it important?
A CAT-A Port is used for simple, single number services such as a fixed PSTN phone line, and is limited to one number per application. CAT-A Ports generally take between 2-10 business days to complete once the request has been accepted by the Losing Carrier, though can take up to 15 business days depending on the Losing Carrier’s response time.
A CAT-C Port is used for numbers that have complex services attached to them such as a Line Hunt or ISDN services, and for number blocks or associated numbers. CAT-C applications are also limited to 100 numbers per batch. Due to the complexity of CAT-C Ports, they generally take between 10 and 35 business days to complete once the PNV has been submitted to the Losing Carrier, though it can take up to 90 business days depending on the Losing Carrier’s response time.
For more information, please see Porting Geographic Numbers - CAT A vs CAT C.
It is important to get in contact with your Current Provider prior to porting to check whether your port needs to be submitted as CAT-A or CAT-C. If we submit the incorrect porting type, we will receive a rejection incurring rejection charges. For more information, please see Porting Rejections – Complex Service.
Why was my port rejected for additional numbers when I didn’t know they were on my account?
When a CAT-C Port is submitted to the Losing Carrier, the information on the porting application must match their system. If during the PNV stage the Losing Carrier finds there are associated numbers that were not included on your application, they will reject the Port and send us a list of numbers that need to be added. The most common numbers that pop up are numbers attached to an ADSL/NBN connection and internal routing numbers.
Unfortunately, not all numbers are listed on your invoice by the Current Provider as they are not being directly billed. This is why we always recommend contacting your Current Provider prior to porting to request a complete list of numbers on your account that need to be ported together.
Numbers can also pop up as being associated to a large block of numbers. If you do not have any knowledge of owning a large block of numbers, it is possible your Current Provider purchased a block of numbers from their Supplier to distribute to their customers, but the numbers have not been disassociated. In this case, you simply need to request the current provider disassociate the number from the block so we can resubmit.
For more information, please see Number Porting Rejections.
Why do I have to speak to my provider, can’t you contact them?
Although we want to help you with your porting queries and issues, there are some limitations to the assistance we can provide. This is especially true when it involves information held by your Current Provider. Our team does not have access to your Current Provider’s system, nor do we have any direct contact with them, and as such cannot contact them for you. Additionally, we are prevented from acquiring any information from your Current Provider regarding your account by the Privacy Act. To address this, we can and will offer advice on what to ask your Current Provider and any information you may need to request from them.
Why am I still being billed for my number by my old provider after porting it away from them?
There could be a couple of reasons for your old provider to be billing you after a port has completed. The most common reason for you being billed after a number is ported is due to the port occurring early in the billing period. If your provider begins billing you on the 1st of each month and the port completes on the 4th, they may bill you for the entire month anyway.
If you have ported a number across and you find that you are still being billed for that number the next month, you will need to contact your old Provider to cease billing on that number as soon as possible. As per the Local Number Portability (LNP) Code (C540:2023, pg. 19), the Losing Carriage Service Provider (CSP) does not technically have to cease billing you for the service.
3.4.2 Note 2. The Losing CSP does not need to take any action to disconnect Customer’s Telephone Number(s).
Many Providers, ourselves included, will remove the number from your account once confirmation of port out is received, but not all providers will do so as there is no obligation on their end. It is important to note that we never recommend contacting your Provider to place a service cancellation order before or during an active port. Ports can sometimes take longer to complete than expected, and any cancellation orders in place could cause a rejection, incurring rejection charges.
What is the difference between a Provider and a Carrier?
Carriage Service Provider (CSP) – A Carriage Service Provider is a person who supplies, or proposes to supply, certain carriage services. Your Provider usually has an upstream carrier who supplies and hosts their numbers.
Carrier – A Carrier is the holder of a Carrier Licence granted under the Telecommunications Act 1997. The Carrier hosts your numbers and manages call routing. Porting requests will go to the Carrier first, before being received by the CSP.
Most Provider’s will not reveal their upstream carrier to their customers, but that information is unnecessary for your porting application as we only require you Current Provider (CSP) to submit the port upstream. If you would like to search the Current and Donor Carrier of a particular number, you can use ACMA’s public database, though current Carrier information may be incorrect as the database is not frequently updated.
What is a Donor Carrier and why are they involved in my port?
The Donor Carrier of a number is the original Carrier that was assigned your number. When a number is ported to a different Carrier, the routing is transferred to the new Carrier but the original Carrier is still listed as the original owner of the number. Although the numbers do not technically route to them anymore, they are involved in any further porting of the number, called Third-Party Porting.
Third Party Porting:
A Third-Party Port is any port where the Donor Carrier is not the Current (Losing) Carrier or the Gaining Carrier. For example: if you purchased a number from Telstra and decided to port it to Primus, and then later down the track you decide to Port the number from Primus to Optus, all three Carriers would be involved in the new port with Optus being the Gaining Carrier, Primus being the Losing Carrier and Telstra being the Donor Carrier.
During Porting, the Donor Carrier will be involved during the Complex Notification Advice (CNA) and Cutover stages. Because there are three different Carriers involved, it is likely the port will take a little longer as there are three parties having to coordinate to action the port. If you are curious about the Donor Carrier of your number, you can find it on ACMA’s public number registry.
After porting has completed, the Donor Carrier’s network is required to provide Donor Transit Routing for at least five business days after the number has ported and the Donor Carrier has updated their Ported Local Number Register (PLNR).
Donor Transit Routing:
Donor Transit Routing is mainly used when a call is received without an indication who the correct terminating Carrier is. When this call is received, the system determines that the number has been ported away from the Donor Carrier, then determines who the new Carrier of the number is that the call should be terminating to, and finally delivers the call to the correct Carrier network. Donor Transit Routing can be one of the causes of routing issues after porting occurs, as the system may not have properly been updated and calls end up routing back to either the Donor Carriers network, or the Losing Carriers network. In cases like this, we escalate the issue to our Upstream Partner who then escalate it to the Losing Carrier and/or Donor Carrier and request the register be updated to reflect the new Carrier of the number.
If I delete a number, can I get it back?
When you delete a number from your account, our Upstream Partner places the number into Quarantine for a short period of time. While the number is in quarantine, we can email our Upstream Partner and ask them to restore the number so it can be reserved to your account once again. Once the quarantine period has ended, it will be much harder to get the number back.
If the number was purchased from our network, the number will be released back into the pool by the Upstream Carrier after quarantine so it can be purchased again. If the number is still available for purchase, we may be able to get it back.
If the number was ported to our network and subsequently cancelled, the number will be released by our upstream partner after quarantine and given back to the original carrier of the number. Once the number has been returned, we will not be able to recover it.
Why is my CAT-C Port taking so long?
Although we have expected lead times for ports listed on our Porting Application, we unfortunately have no control over the speed at which your CAT-C Port will take as all lead times are dependent on the Losing Carrier, as per the Local Number Portability (LNP) Code (C540:2023, pg. 21):
3.5.12 Note 2. Lead Times are determined by the Losing Carrier. These may vary by product including variations due to the size of the product or the number of sites to which a particular service is offered.
CAT-C Port’s usually take far longer to complete compared to CAT-A, Mobile or Toll-Free/Shared Cost Ports due to their complexity. As per the LNP Code, the Losing Carrier must go through a number of validation processes before accepting the port and booking in the cutover date, which is why we generally expect and advise that a CAT-C Port will be completed within 15-35 business days and could take up to 90 business days.
The first stage the Losing Carrier and Losing Provider goes through is the Pre-Port Number Validation (PNV) process. As per the LNP Code, this stage is where the Losing Provider and the Losing Carrier share account information to verify the information on the porting application is correct and will accept or reject the PNV. We expect this stage to take around 10 business days.
Once the PNV has been accepted, the Losing Carrier needs to begin the Complex Notification Advice (CNA) stage. At this stage, the Losing Carrier validates the port request and makes sure everything in the PNV has been included so they can accept the port. We usually expect this stage to take around 10 business days, though this may take longer if there is a Donor Carrier involved or there is a large batch of numbers.
The final stage is the Complex Cutover Advice (CCA) stage. This stage is where all Carriers involved (Losing, Gaining and Donor Carrier) begin coordinating the cutover booking. This stage can take around 10 business days for us to receive cutover confirmation, though it can take longer if there is a Donor Carrier or there are multiple batches being aligned.
Can I request my port be cutover after-hours or on weekends?
We do not offer the option for after-hours or weekend ports to our customers. After hours porting is not properly supported by Losing and Donor Carriers, which means that the risk of extended outages is extremely high when attempting to port after-hours or on weekends. It is also an expensive service, often costing more than $800 excluding GST to request a port outside of business hours or on weekends.
We understand that downtime is a concern when running your business, but we assure you that our CAT-A and Toll-Free Ports are always booked for the earliest possible booking we can request (usually 8am or 9am AEST/AEDT). CAT-C Ports are usually booked any time between 10am and 2pm AEST/AEDT, though we can ask our Upstream Partner to attempt to book in the port for 9am if required.
If I want my cutover brought forward, can I request the booking for my port be rescheduled?
If you would like your cutover booking brought forward and you have requested the preferred porting date as ASAP on your application, it is not possible for our upstream provider to bring the cutover booking forward. We advise our Upstream Partner book in the earliest possible booking date with the Losing/Donor Carrier, and Carriers often require at least 2 weeks between the cutover booking being confirmed and the date the cutover is to occur.
If you have requested a specific date and there is more than 3 weeks before your cutover booking, we may be able to ask our Upstream Partner to request a rescheduling to bring it forward. Any attempt at rescheduling will cancel the original booking however, and there is no guarantee that the port can be moved forward. There is also the chance that the new booking ends up being even further out if the Carriers cannot find a suitable date.
What if I want my cutover pushed back?
If you find you need a little more time and want to reschedule the cutover booking for your port, we may be able to request the cutover booking be rescheduled if the request is made early enough. The closer to the cutover booking a request for rescheduling is, the more likely it is that rescheduling the port will attract fees for us to do so. Our Upstream Partner will advise us if there are any charges for rescheduling your port before actioning the request, and we will always advise you of any costs associated with rescheduling your port and confirm you are happy to pay the costs before instructing our Upstream Partner to continue with the rescheduling.
What is a Port Reversal/Emergency Return?
A Port Reversal is used for CAT-A Ports, and is a short window allocated by the Carriers (as enforced by the LNP code) to allow a port to be reversed so the customers service with the Losing Carrier/Service Provider is reinstated. This window is typically around 4 hours after the completion of the cutover, so any attempt to reverse a port must be made in that time.
An Emergency Return is similar to a Port Reversal but is only used for CAT-C Ports, and is a short window allocated by the carriers (as enforced by the LNP code) to allow a port to be returned on request of the customer so their service can be re-established by the Customer’s original provider, or an alternative service if it is not possible to re-establish it. This window is also around 4 hours after the completion of the cutover, so any attempt to reverse the port must be made within that period.
Though these processes can be requested in extreme cases, it is not recommended to initiate a Port Reversal or Emergency Return unless absolutely necessary as we are charged hefty fees by the Carriers for initiating a Port Reversal/Emergency Return, which are directly on-billed to the customer.
Why do I need to provide proof of ownership for the number I wish to port, isn’t my invoice enough?
We always ask for proof of ownership for a number, as we are required by law to check that each porting request is legitimate. If a number is not listed on the invoice, we cannot verify whether the account in question owns the number in the porting application. We also use the invoice to verify that all information on the porting application is correct and matches the invoice, which includes the account name, account number, the address and the number being ported.
We do understand that not all providers issue an invoice listing each of the numbers associated with your account. If your provider cannot provide you a new invoice with the numbers listed on it, we can verify the numbers are owned by your account if you can provide us with one of the following to supplement your invoice:
- Written confirmation from your current service provider stating that the account in question does indeed own the number.
- A statutory declaration signed by your local police department or a justice of the peace to confirm that you own the number.
- (If it’s a VoIP service) a screenshot of the Portal with your Current Service Provider that shows the numbers listed on the account.
What is PPV and why is it required for Mobile Ports?
PPV stands for Pre-Port Identify Verification. Once a Mobile porting application has been processed and submitted, our Upstream Partner is required to verify that the port request is legitimate and being requested by the correct person. The method our upstream partner uses for Mobile Porting PPV is the SMS option. Once processed, the Carrier will send you an SMS notifying you of a porting request, and to verify the port by responding to the SMS directly using the unique 6-digit code included in the SMS. This SMS must be responded to within 30 minutes or it will expire. We only have 3 attempts at PPV before the port is invalidated.
If you find you are unable to respond to the SMS, we require an explanation to provide to our upstream partner to request an alternative method. If an SMS bypass is approved, you will likely be required to the following documentation:
2 x CATEGORY A DOCUMENTATION
1 x CATEGORY A and 2 x CATEGORY B DOCUMENTATION
For a full list of documentation that can be legally accepted for verification, please see Schedule 1 - ‘Additional identity verification process using category A and category B documents’ in the Telecommunications (Mobile Number Pre-Porting Additional Identity Verification) Industry Standard 2020.
Why was my port rejected for disconnected service when the number is active and can be rung?
When we receive a rejection from the Losing Carrier, we aren’t given any information on the rejection, only a code. For Disconnected Service, we are given code 004 which corresponds to both Disconnected Service and Pending Disconnection, but there is no distinguishing which was received unless we call the number to see if the number still rings. If your number still appears to be active and ringing, it is likely a pending disconnection is attached to the account. This is commonly caused by a future-dated disconnection order. Numbers on a PREPAID Exchange Based Diversion (EBD) will also be rejected for pending disconnection.
For more information on Pending Disconnections and other Porting Rejections, please see Number Porting Rejections.
Can I dispute a rejection if I believe it to be incorrect?
If you receive a rejection and you believe it is incorrect you can ask us to raise a dispute with the Losing Carrier and Losing Provider on your behalf, though there are a few requirements for us to do so. The main requirement is some sort of written correspondence or case reference number with the Losing Provider that we can use as evidence to aid us in the dispute. If we were to raise a dispute with the Losing Carrier without any evidence, they would likely tell us that the rejection is valid, case closed.
Raising a dispute does not guarantee a rejection will be reversed and you will be credited the rejection charge back, even if you have provided evidence from the Losing Carrier to suggest it was incorrect. In cases like this, you can speak to the Losing Provider to show the evidence and put in a complaint with their management, and request they refund you the rejection amount for incorrect advice, though they are not obliged to refund you any amount.
For more information on Porting Rejections and Raising a Dispute, please see Number Porting Rejections.
What are my options if I want a more specific number that isn’t available in your system?
If you have a more specific number in mind that isn’t currently available in our system (for example, a Dandenong, VIC number ending in 700), you can request a Manual Number Search from our Number Management team by emailing the request through to Support. In your request, please provide us with some different prefixes/patterns you would like for us to search for.
When searching for a number, there is a $100 inc. GST Manual Search Fee that is applicable if you decide to purchase a number. If a number is deemed a Premium Number, this Search Fee will be $550 inc. GST though you will be advised if a number is premium beforehand. We will not charge you for the search, you will only be charged if you proceed to purchase the number.
There is no guarantee a number will be found by our Suppliers, and the more specific a number search is, the less likely it is that a suitable number will be found.
Although we do offer manual searching for mobile numbers, finding a suitable number is often extremely difficult for our Suppliers, and we find that they rarely come back with numbers a customer may want. The $100 inc. GST Manual Search Fee also applies for any Mobile Numbers purchased through this means, and any Premium Mobile Numbers will incur a $550 inc. GST search fee.
Toll-Free 1800/Shared Cost 1300 Numbers:
Unfortunately, we do not offer manual searching for 1300 and 1800 numbers. If you want a specific number, the best place to find them is through ACMA’s Numbering System, where you can search for specific numbers to see if they are available or not. If they are labelled as ‘Spare’ and do not have an Enhanced Rights of Use (EROU) holder assigned, you can then make an account and purchase the Smartnumber from ACMA. Once you are assigned the number, you can then submit a porting application to activate it.
If a number is allocated to a Carrier, you can call it to see if it is active or not. If it is not active, you may be able to get in touch with the Current Carrier of the number to see if the number is available for purchase, and then port it into our network.
If a number has an existing EROU holder, you will not be able to purchase the number until the EROU has expired and the number has been returned to ACMA’s available numbers registry.
Why are some inbound calls to my number coming up as disconnected after my port was submitted?
When we process your Porting Application and submit it to our Upstream Partner, your number is added to our system and attached to your account. As the number is still held by your Current Provider, all calls will still route through their network until porting has complete. Internal calls made from a user within our system will allow the number to begin on-net routing.
If your PBX call flow is not set up for your number prior to port completion, any internal calls made from within our system will have a voice message come up stating the number is disconnected. To prevent internal calls from coming up as disconnected, you can:
- Set up your PBX Call Flow so you can still receive calls from other users utilising our network.
- Request our Porting team remove the number until the day of cutover.
Am I able to set up my number to work in your network before the number has ported?
If you are wanting to begin using our system early, it is possible for you to get your number working with our PBX call-flow while waiting for porting to complete. This is done by setting up a number diversion with your Current Provider:
- Contact your Current Provider to confirm they can set up a diversion to a number in our network
- If they confirm they can set up the diversion, purchase a dummy number on your account in our system
- Ask the Current Provider to point the diversion to the number you purchased
- Set up the rest of your call flow using the dummy number
- Provision any SIP devices you require to make and receive calls in our network
Once the Current Provider confirms the redirection is active, calls will begin routing through your PBX Call Flow in our network. Be aware that any attempts to redirect a number could cause issues with an active port, so it is important to ensure you either request a diversion before beginning the porting process, or you ask your provider to confirm whether creating a diversion will impact the active port.