Posts Tagged smartnumbers

How Do I Choose My 1300 Number?

Hello everyone and a Happy New Year to you all!

One of the most common questions posed to us in my company is how to choose a 1300 number when setting up a new number for a business.

Well, once you have chosen to use a 1300 or 1800 number, there are basically 3 options to deciding which number to use.

Pick a number from the Public Available List.
This is a large list of numbers (usually in excess of 3000 numbers for 1300 and 1800), issued to every telecommunications company in Australia on a regular basis. It is a list given to us by the controlling body in the Australian government that manages “inbound numbers” or 1300 and 1800 numbers. That company is called Industry Number Management Services Pty Ltd (INMS).

The benefit with this list is that numbers are free with respect to a capital cost. A business will simply choose 4 numbers in order of preference and submit them in their application.

The current available list can be found at The Ozetel 1300 numbers page.

Buy a number from the government auction.
If a business wants a number that spells a word or doesn’t find the number they want within the free available list, then they will need to purchase the number from the government auction system called smartnumbers. This will come at a cost in that the public reserve price for auction numbers is $250 and can extend to any price based on the premium nature of the number they are looking at. Of course once they have purchased the number, they own it and it is theirs for ever.

Lease the number from a Phoneword company.
Finally, if the number has already been purchased by someone else, the business owner will be forced to lease that number off the owner. It is a quite a large business in Australia now with Phoneword companies purchasing 100’s of numbers and leasing them back to Australian businesses at a monthly fee, again ranging from $100 a month to 1000’s a month, depending on the number.

That is a brief run down of how a business owner would go about choosing their new 1300 or 1800 number. Getting the number you want is much more difficult then 5 years but following the steps will get you the desired result.

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Who Sets Prices For Phonewords?

The government of course! But let’s not get negative, it is a business concept and a very good one from an entrepreneurial point of view.

Firstly I guess do you all know what a phoneword is?

Basically it is a 13, 1300 or 1800 number which has digits after the prefix, that spell a word when dialed using a numeric/text keypad on a phone. A business can have up to 10 digits/letters following the 13, 1300 and 1800 prefix. This is called over dialing and has been incorporated into all Australia phone networks (including mobile).

Now, generally they are a great marketing concept because it is much easier to remember 1300 WESTPAC, then the number that would represent that, 1300 93 78 72. Many marketing studies have been done and confirm that incoming call traffic and sales increase with the use of a Phoneword. It not only provides an “easy to remember” number for the caller but also enhances the branding of the company.

SO, where do we get these numbers?

Well if you are lucky enough, the number you want will be in the available, FREE Public List provided to all telecommunications companies in Australia.

However, it is very unlikely you will find the number you want within that free list but instead will have one of two choices;

1. Purchase the number outright so you have complete ownership, from the SMARTNUMBERS AUCTION SITE or,
2. Lease the number from a company who has previously purchased the number.

AND, to our initial question, who sets the prices on these numbers because the price at auction can range from a reserve of $250 all the way to $20,000.

The government body that has created the pricing strategy for phonewords purchased at auction is the Australian Communications And Media Authority (ACMA). The ACMA tell us that “the numerical patterns in numbers and the capacity of numbers to be translated to words” are the defining factors as to how prices are set. The table that best defines these elements and the relevant price charged can be found HERE

I hope that has helped and give some background into where the phoneword charges come from.

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